According to the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green University, the divorce rate in the United States dropped 29 percent from 1979 to 2017. However, older couples are not the ones responsible for this 40-year low. In fact, the divorce rate for adults over the age of 55 increased from 5 divorces to 15 divorces for every 1,000 marriages, and from 1.8 divorces to 5 divorces for every 1,000 marriages for couples over 65.
There are many reasons why ‘gray divorce’ is on the rise. For one, many couples who were staying together for the sake of the children feel they can separate once the children are out of the house. Also, the increase in the gray divorce rate includes second marriages, which are more likely to lead to divorce than first marriages.
In the past, women were often tied to their spouses for financial reasons, but nowadays, many women are financially independent and therefore, have no reason to stay with someone they are no longer in love with. Another factor is that people’s lifespans are decades longer than they used to be, giving them more time to find someone new or enjoy life on their own.
If you are an older adult in Kentucky who is thinking about divorce, it is in your best interest to get your finances in order before you begin the divorce process. You should also consider counseling, even if the decision to divorce has been finalized, to ensure that you and your spouse will be able to remain cordial during the process and afterwards. Also, experts say it is better to avoid starting a new relationship until this one is finalized to avoid making a difficult situation even more complicated.