There is no question that couples of all ages are filing for divorce at a rapid rate. In fact, nearly half of all marriages in Michigan and across the country end in divorce, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the number of people over the age of 50 who are terminating their marriage is especially high, according to a study performed by researchers at Bowling Green State University. While 50 years ago, only 2.8 percent of people 50-years and older filed for divorce, the number jumped to 15.4 percent in 2011. Why are more couples separating later in life and causing this gray divorce phenomenon?
According to AARP, there are a number of reasons why couples may lose their connection after they turn 50. When people retire from their career, they spend more time around their spouse. If one spouse has retired and the other is still working, the employed spouse may become jealous of the other spouse’s free time and could become resentful. Furthermore, when couples spend more time with one another, they may find that they no longer have anything in common.
A longer life expectancy rate means that people are living for decades after they retire and the kids move out of the house. Rather than spend this long period of time with a spouse that no longer makes them happy, people are getting divorced and starting life again. Not only are late-term divorces more common, but people who are entering their second or third marriage later in life have also become more common.