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Divorce for those over 50 is increasing – but why?

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2021 | Divorce

Just at the beginning of November, the Census Bureau reported that the rate of divorce in the United States recently reached a 50-year low.

While the rate of divorce overall may have decreased, the rate of divorce for couples over 50 spiked significantly since the 1990s – nearly doubling –  according to Pew Research Center. Many Maryland families might have heard these statistics in recent reports, but hearing this also leads many people to ask: why is this trend increasing?

What are the reasons behind this trend?

No relationship is the same. Therefore, there is no one reason why spouses decide to end a long marriage. The decision to divorce is often the result of many factors – both internal and external – that develop and put pressure on a relationship over time.

However, the studies into this trend of elder divorce determined there are likely a few common reasons for this increase, including:

  • The increasing financial independence for women over the decades
  • The decreasing stigma surrounding divorce over the years
  • The rise of second marriages after a past divorce

Some couples who have been married for many years might also face marital challenges after their children move out.

After years of devoting time to raising children, some spouses might find they have grown apart or experience empty nest syndrome, which can strain their relationship. This stress could also impact the increasing rate of older couples seeking a divorce.

No matter the reason, take care

Regardless of the reason older individuals seek a divorce in Maryland, they must make sure they approach the process of divorce with a plan.

For example, the process of dividing property and assets accumulated throughout the marriage is often complicated, and it can become even more so after many years of marriage. Protecting one’s financial future – especially so close to retirement – is also a priority for many people over 50. Older individuals seeking a divorce should take time to make an inventory of their assets and understand how they can secure their finances for the next chapter post-divorce.