While statistics show overall divorce rates have been stabilizing in Virginia and nationwide over the past 10 years, the divorce rate among older couples is increasing. In 2014, people ages 50 and above were twice as likely to divorce as they were in 1990, and those over 65 were even more likely to part ways.
One of the top reasons for the spike in late-life divorce could be that Americans are living longer. Some couples are getting to their golden years and realizing they don’t want to spend another 20 or 30 years in an unhappy marriage. Another big reason is that women have greater economic stability than they did in the past and have the resources to leave partners who are abusive, cheating or no longer a good match.
Yet another contributing factor to older couples divorcing may be that many people over age 65 have been divorced before. Multiple marriages can bring extra stresses, including blended families and financial complications. It has also been pointed out that Americans place a greater emphasis on leading a meaningful life than past generations did. This means that some couples reach their retirement years only to find their life goals are no longer compatible with each other, which may spell the end of the relationship.
The end of a marriage can be difficult and emotional at any age, and some who are going through one may want to get the process over with as quickly as possible. However, family law attorneys will tell their clients that this could be a mistake if concessions are made in haste that could prove financially ruinous in the future.
Source: WRVO, “Divorce Later in Life Becoming More Common,” May 7, 2016