gray divorce - divorcing older

Why More Couples Are Divorcing Older—and What You Can Do to Avoid It

Divorce trends are a good way of understanding how culture and society are changing. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of aging adults deciding to divorce. In many cases, these divorces occur after marriages that lasted 20 to 30 years. What does this mean, and how can you protect your marriage from going the same route?

Learn more about the “gray divorce” trend. If divorce is inevitable, make sure you have the strongest legal representation possible. Call Coumanis & York at 251-990-3083 to schedule a consultation now.

What is Happening to Older Couples?

Research in gerontology shows a startling trend in divorce. Over 25% of people getting divorced are older than 50, and more than half of those divorces are happening after the couple has been married for at least 20 years.

This trend has been growing for over two decades. Between 1990 and 2015, the divorce rate for people over 50 years old almost doubled. This coincides with an attitude shift toward divorce. Older people have become more supportive of divorce and more understanding of the reasons couples choose divorce.

More Options for Today’s Seniors

In many cases, it comes down to the fact that people have more options now than they did two or three decades ago. In the past, an unhappy marriage wasn’t a tragedy—it was simply part of life. In particular, women had few options if they were unhappy in their relationship. They were often homemakers without established credit or income, so even if they were mistreated, they had to live with it. Now, it is easier for couples of varying income levels to make their own way if they decide to divorce.

On top of that, people are living longer. In the past, a 60-year-old couple might just tough it out because they figured they didn’t have much time left anyway. Now, a 60-year-old could easily live for 25 to 30 more years. It’s natural that they might choose to not spend that precious time in an unhealthy marriage.

How to Avoid a “Gray Divorce”

If you’re worried about the “gray divorce” trend, there’s plenty you can do to keep your relationship strong and avoid falling victim to increasing divorce rates.

Make Time for Your Relationship

After raising children and hustling at your career for decades, it can be startling to retire and realize you don’t really know your spouse anymore. No matter how busy things get, you should always make it a priority to have one-on-one time that keeps your relationship solid and prevents you from becoming co-parenting roommates.

Keep Getting to Know Your Partner

People change throughout their lives, and that’s one of the most exciting parts of marriage. You have the chance to keep learning about your partner and their evolving interests. Don’t be annoyed by changes or view them as an inconvenience—view them as a chance to build your bond even stronger.

Establish and Honor Boundaries

Boundaries are a crucial part of any relationship, and in a long-term marriage, it’s easy to watch boundaries dissolve. This leads to resentment. Make sure you both understand each other’s boundaries and do your best to respect them. Respecting your partner’s boundaries is a meaningful way to show your love.

Make it a Priority to Experience New Things

Tradition is important, of course. But you should also make time to try new things together. Instead of going to the same local restaurant for dinner every week, try a new place together once per month. If a new activity becomes available in your area—axe throwing, pickleball, or pottery making—go together and check it out.

Maintain Open Communication

Marriages ebb and flow, and drifting apart is natural. By keeping the lines of communication open, you can identify problem areas in your marriage and work on them together before they become irreparable. Don’t let small gaps become huge chasms just because you’re afraid to talk about them with your spouse.

Explore Your Legal Options with Coumanis & York

Despite your best efforts, you may find that divorce is the best option for you. If so, make sure you have the legal guidance you deserve. Set up a meeting with our team now by calling us at 251-990-3083 or contacting us online.

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