Divorce affects spouses of all ages, although the public may not commonly think of older couples when imagining divorcing partners. However, many married couples over the age of 40 do experience breakups. Perhaps the marriage suffers from the same problems as the partners’ previous unions. Others may remain in the same marriage for many years only to enter a Delaware divorce court after experiencing many anniversaries. No, “gray divorces” are not rare occurrences, and they happen frequently.
Times and spouses change
As couples grow older, they may also grow further apart. When two spouses no longer find their marriage workable, one or both partners may file for divorce. Statistics show that older people initiate divorce proceedings in more significant numbers now than in the past. Since 1990, the divorce rate for married couples has outright doubled, and the numbers may reflect a 300% increase by 2030.
Questions likely arise why these numbers are so high. Each marriage and divorce have unique causes, although cultural and societal changes may increase. Life today is not what it was in the 1970s, and a focus on personal happiness drives more people to do what is best for them now. So they won’t stay in a problematic marriage like members of previous generations once did.
Factors contributing to gray divorces
Several reasons could lead older couples to seek a divorce. As the years pass, people change, and the two partners may not share the same outlook on life. Political, social and religious factors could play a role in a schism between the couple, sometimes irreconcilable.
Financial stress may play a role in driving a wedge between two spouses. One person may want to get debt under control and eliminate spending while building a better nest egg for the future. The other individual may be less responsible with money or wishes to put funds into risky business ventures.
Adultery and abuse may become too much for one spouse to bear, so that partner files for divorce. Years of mental cruelty or drug issues could take their toll on a marriage as well. Whatever the reason, the marriage is no longer working out.