While the overall divorce rate across the US rate has gone down over the past couple of decades – largely due to fewer couples tying the knot than to a reduced frequency of divorce – there’s one trend headed solidly in the other direction: divorce among those 50 years of age and older.
Referred to as “grey divorce,” many of these senior divorces happen after children leave the nest and the domestic glue that held a marriage together just isn’t as strong as it needs to be. “A lot of this generation did see their [own] parents divorce when they were young,” marriage counselor Alyssa Mandel of the Mandel Clinic told Arizona’s KTAR.com. “But [these couples] they stayed together for the kids. Now they feel like it’s their time.”
Time or not, it’s a trend that is troubling to some experts who caution would-be grey divorcees not to underestimate how complicated the process can be, even if issues like child custody and child support payments are not on the table “[With grey divorce], you have a lot more assets to divide, a lot more history, and a lot more intermingling with everything and everyone,” commented Mandel.
And to make matters even more complicated, the economy may also fuel grey divorce rates, as more couples emerge from the thaw of the Great Recession and decide that they can afford to untie the knot.