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Older Americans Divorcing After Children Leave


The younger generations are not divorcing as much, likely because they’re not getting married as often as generations past. But seniors are making up for it, divorcing at the highest rates ever.

This is called gray divorce and it has grown dramatically over the past few decades. Between 1990 and 2021, the divorce rates have doubled for Americans over the age of 55 and have tripled for those over the age of 65. At the same time, the divorce rates among young adults have dropped.

Why are older people getting divorced at high rates? It’s because these couples are waiting things out. Things may be bad for a long time before they finally decide to call it quits. But they’re waiting for one thing: for the kids to move out.

These Baby Boomers are also part of a generation that came of age in the 1960s and 1970s. These people had an individualistic spirit and this era was also known as the Me Decade. Baby Boomers will do what they want, for the most part, and that means getting divorced later on in life.

Another factor is that these couples are waiting for their children to graduate from high school and leave the nest. These older folks may have appreciation for the fact that children do better in school and life in general when their parents stay together.

However, putting the children as a priority in the marriage can cause a lot of future damage to the marriage. The focus should be on nurturing the relationship between the spouses. Otherwise, when the couple no longer needs to take care of the children, they realize that they have nothing in common. The spark is no longer there.

This means that once the kids are gone, couples are more likely to give up on the marriage.

They’re more likely to feel content with what they have done with their life and be ready to experience romance, whether that be at age 60, 65, or even 70. In many cases, people have been putting up with alcoholism, physical abuse, or other issues in their marriage for many years and they’ve had enough.

However, a divorce later in life can have a devastating financial impact. This is especially true for women, who experience a 45% decline in their standard of living. The decline for men was less than half that, at just 21%.

What this means is that when people get divorced at a later age, they pay a hefty financial penalty for it. A divorce is something that must be carefully considered. Think about the costs involved before calling it quits.

Seek Legal Help

A divorce can occur at any time, and it’s happening more and more in the later years, beyond age 50. It seems as though many are sticking around for the kids, which may or may not be a good thing.

A Fort Lauderdale divorce lawyer Edward J. Jennings, P.A. can help you deal with the ramifications of a divorce later in life. Fill out the online form or call 954-764-4330 to schedule a consultation.


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