People often talk about divorce as though it were something that only happens to young couples that rushed into a marriage. However, statistically, young people aren’t necessarily the ones most likely to file for divorce in the United States anymore.
Attitudes about marriage and divorce have changed drastically in recent decades, which means that when people divorce and why they divorce has changed also. The age group that is currently the most likely to file for divorce might actually surprise you.
Federal statistics show older adults divorcing more frequently
Recent years have shown some interesting changes in divorce, including a drop in the overall divorce rate. Experts estimate that the divorce rate in the United States is currently at a 50-year low. This may be due to many factors, ranging from some people choosing not to marry at all to others waiting later in life to tie the knot.
Still, one group is more likely than any other age group to file for divorce and has actually seen a surge in its divorce rate. According to information from the United States Census Bureau, adults between the ages of 55 and 64 are the most likely to divorce out of any age group. When those who are close to or over the age of retirement choose to divorce, people call that a gray divorce.
Why are these gray divorces on the rise?
More couples closing in on retirement age now make the decision to divorce when compared with previous decades. There are numerous factors that may fuel this divorce trend.
Longer lives have forced people to think carefully about what really makes them happy. More accepting social attitudes about divorce may make people feel comfortable pursuing their own happiness. Having an empty nest after years of young children and teenagers at home could also strain a previously working marital relationship.
Couples who divorce later in life will usually have more assets to divide and more concerns about support and pensions than younger couples with more time to bounce back after a divorce. Realizing that you are not alone in considering a gray divorce might give you the courage to pursue the happiness you deserve in your golden years.