It's clear that gray divorce is popular in the United States. This term generally means people who are getting divorced when they are 50 years old or older.
We know it's popular because the rate has been increasing. Some studies even claim it has doubled. This is all happening at the same time that the divorce rate for the general population is falling. Gray divorce is clearly moving in the opposite direction, so why is this?
A changing social culture
First off, the stigma around divorce has changed over the decades. Many people who are beyond middle age may have grown up at a time in which divorce was considered taboo, not widely accepted like it is today. This may make them more comfortable getting divorced now, even if they wanted to do so in a previous decade.
Another thing to consider is that a lot of people at this age are actually in their second marriages. They've already gotten married and divorced once. The statistics tell us that second marriages end at a higher rate than first marriages. This means that all of the people who are in this age group and who have gotten married for a second time simply have much higher odds that they'll get divorced again, which generally pushes the rate up over time.
What does this mean for you?
If you are considering getting a divorce from your partner, keep in mind that a gray divorce can be financially complicated. Make sure that you understand all of the legal options at your disposal.