People often talk about divorce as if it’s something that happens to young couples. They talk about couples that got married too early and realized quickly that they had made a mistake. They may also talk about the seven-year itch, which indicates that people are more likely to want a new relationship – or seek an extramarital affair – after about seven years of being married.
As a result, if you’re 50 years old or older, you may assume that your marriage is going to stand the test of time. You may already have been married for decades. You feel like you have gotten past that seven-year itch and you no longer have to be concerned. But is this true?
The opposite is actually true
Interestingly, studies have found that the 50+ age group is actually the only one that has a rising divorce rate. For younger couples, the divorce rate continually goes down from year to year, or at least stays the same. But those in this demographic, who are said to be going through a “gray divorce,” are doing it more often.
Why is this happening?
There are many potential reasons for this, including increased life expectancy and the shifting social stigma surrounding divorce. It’s also notable that second marriages end at a higher rate than first marriages, and many people in this age group are in second marriages.
Finally, empty-nesters sometimes get divorced when their children go to college, and so this is more likely to impact this specific age group. They may have chosen to get divorced even earlier, but they felt it would be best for their children if they waited. Or, potentially, they didn’t even realize they wanted a divorce until the kids were no longer home.
Are you getting divorced?
If you and your spouse do decide to get divorced this year, take the time to look into the legal options at your disposal. You need to know how to protect your rights. This can be complicated, but there are tactics you and your spouse can use to compromise and focus on the best possible outcome for both of you.