Earlier this week, we blogged on helping an adult child cope with the end of the long-term marriage of their parents in Texas. This unique need is arising out of the increase of what is known as “gray divorce.”According to a study conducted by sociologists at Bowling Green State University, while divorce rates have been slowly declining since their height around 30 years ago, the rate of gray divorce, couples with partners ages 50 years or older parting ways, has more than doubled over the last 20 years.
In real numbers, this means that three years ago 600,000 people 50 years old or older got divorced. That is a quarter of the entire population of that age getting divorced. In 1990, reportedly only 1 in 10 individuals at that age obtained a divorce. The numbers are only projected to increase, as well, hitting as high as 800,000 individuals 50 years or older divorcing in the year 2030.
Why is it that as the divorce rates of other, younger couples are slowly declining, these gray divorce statistics continue to increase in Texas and elsewhere? In short, life expectancy has increased and women have gained financial autonomy. This means that once the children are out of the house, parents can reevaluate their relationship. Is it working? If it is not, there is still in many cases another 30-40 years in which to find another individual with which an individual feels more compatible.
This trend is usually about a quest for a fulfilling and satisfying relationship. According to one therapist, “Boomers’ quest for happiness in their lives, empty nest, women working and having more financial independence and confidence, people living longer…all are reasons.”
Source: The Huffington Post, “Gray Divorce: Will You Become Part of The Trend?” Shelley Emiling, Nov. 1, 2012
- Our firm has experience assisting couples divorcing after a long term marriage. For more information, please visit our Houston divorce after a long marriage page.