Examining the “Gray Divorce” Trend

A recent article published by Senior Living Trends and News reports that divorce rates on the whole have actually declined over the last ten years.  However, according to the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University, the rate of divorce involving couples over the age of 50 has doubled from 1990 to 2009. This phenomenon has resulted in the catchphrase “gray divorce,” which is used to describe divorces of people in later life.

The reasons behind this so-called “gray divorce revolution” are varied and many. There is no longer the social stigma attached to divorce that there was in the past, and people are living longer and healthier lives. Therefore, fewer people may be willing to settle for an unhappy relationship when they can easily envision many more years ahead of them, even after retirement has occurred. The stresses of later life, such as “empty nest syndrome” and health concerns, also may lead to divorce.

Nonetheless, seniors who choose to divorce may face different concerns than a couple who has remained intact. Older single women, in particular, are more prone to poverty and dependence on public assistance. As a result, it is wise to consider such issues as retirement income, medical coverage, long-term care assistance, and other similar concerns in reaching any sort of divorce settlement. Another related issue may be a lack of companionship and care giving when a single senior experiences a medical condition or injury that necessitates a certain degree of care. By thinking ahead and planning for these events, seniors can place themselves in a better position to successfully handle these events as they arise.

If you are contemplating divorce, no matter what your age, you will need the counsel and guidance of an experienced Chicago, Illinois divorce lawyer in order to effectively assist you through this difficult and stressful time. Contact our office today for a consultation regarding your situation.

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