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The growth of gray divorces continue

Gray divorce continues to trend, ironically, a term many fifty-somethings and older may not understand or use in a sentence. Nonetheless, older couples are pulling the plug on their long-term marriages at a record pace.

Al and Tipper Gore’s marital dissolution was first “gray divorce” that captured the attention of researchers. A subsequent study from the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University first mentioned a “gray divorce revolution.” Their findings revealed that the divorce rate for couples older than 50 doubled from 1990 to 2010.

A new definition of “old”

Being “old” is not what it used to be. Medical advances and changing societal norms provide spouses options to get out of a decades-long marriage. Add to that the significant changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, with older couples more at risk of the virus sheltering at home and truly getting to know each other.

Most experts can agree on the shorter window of time that older people have. The idea of spending their golden years with someone they consider to be the wrong person. Other factors see couples simply drifting apart or dealing with spousal abuse.

A potential downside

Despite being popular, there is a downside of gray divorce when it comes to income and how someone who was married will be able to make ends meet. Retirement experts claim that the income of men and women travel opposite paths as they age. Females see their income increasing by more than 25 percent, while males see an increase of 10 percent.

Regardless of age, divorce wreaks havoc on a family. Older couples calling it quits impact more than just children but also grandchildren. Marital dissolution at any age is traumatic for everyone involved.