Many people who are going through a divorce in Virginia and around the country are over the age of 50. While the divorce rates among younger couples have gone down, researchers say that ‘gray divorces” are on the rise. In 2014, there were two times as many divorces involving spouses over 50 than there were in 1990, according to a Brigham Young University study.
Many people over the age of 50 may be more likely to divorce because they are in second marriages. Research has shown that second marriages are two-and-a-half times more likely to end in divorce than first marriages. Another factor that could contribute to the end of older people’s marriages is increased lifespan. When people are in their 50s and 60s today, they may decide that they don’t want to spend the next 30 years of their life in an unsatisfying relationship.
The associate director of the Center for Family and Demographic Research at Bowling Green State University said that older people divorce more often than younger people because they are doing better financially. Although many younger couples may contemplate divorce, financial factors often prevent them from taking action. Divorce among older Americans has also been attributed to a shifting view of marriage. Today, spouses look for more than a good homemaker or a good provider, and they may become unsatisfied if their spouse is not their best friend.
Divorces among older people are usually not complicated by child custody issues, but property division negotiations may be more difficult between spouses over the age of 50. People in this age group may have accumulated more assets than people who face the end of a marriage earlier in life, and it may be wise for them to each have representation from an attorney during the proceedings.