The term gray divorce refers to divorces among couples where one spouse is over the age of 50. According to a study across the United States, including New Jersey, the rate of gray divorce doubled from 1990 to 2010, even though the overall rate of divorce declined.
What are the causes of gray divorce?
As with any divorce, there are many reasons why a couple may decide to get divorced past the age of 50. First, if one of the spouses was previously married, there was already a stronger likelihood that the subsequent marriage would end in divorce, statistically speaking. However, even couples who have been together for decades can grow apart over time, which is the main reason why older couples decide to file for divorce, according to one therapist.
Another reason why people may decide to get divorced is that, as they near retirement, they realize that they do not want to spend their golden years with this other person. Though it may have been easier to stay in a bad marriage when life expectancy was not as long, the thought of staying in an unhappy marriage for another 20 or 30 years is unfathomable to many.
Women gaining more independence
Yet another cause of the rising divorce rate could be that women are filing for divorce more than they did in earlier generations. Not only is divorce less stigmatized now that it used to be, but women are gaining more of a sense of independence from their spouses, both financially and emotionally. Both of these factors can lead women to feel more empowered to seek a divorce.
What to do if you are going through a divorce
Divorce can be a challenge at any age, but it does not need to be contentious. Having a New Jersey-licensed family law attorney in your corner can make the separation process easier and help you pursue any property or assets to which you may be entitled.