Older Married Couples and the Prevalence of Divorce
According to the Pew Research Center, divorce rates are on the rise in the U.S. for couples over 50. Also known as a “gray divorce,” the divorce rate for couples over 50 has almost doubled since the 1990s. While there are many reasons why people decide to divorce, here are some of the top four reasons for couples over 50 to choose to call it quits after all these years.
There are many reasons why someone in a marriage may stray. While infidelity in any marriage, no matter what age, can become a deal-breaker, older couples may hold on a little longer than they should. Whether it’s for financial reasons or ties to children, when infidelity happens to someone later in life, it can be a scary situation for that person when they think about leaving their partner after so many years. They may also stay in the marriage because they feel embarrassed or don’t want to portray to family and friends that there are problems. The reality is that infidelity is hard to forgive, and eventually, the hurt or continued infidelity can be the breaking point for someone to end their marriage later in life.
2. Money Issues
Money is one of the top contentious issues when it comes to marriage problems. When one spouse is a “spender” and the other is a “saver,” not agreeing on handling financial aspects throughout the marriage can take its toll. Another issue often arises when one spouse agrees to stay home and take care of the kids while the other spouse agrees to be the sole provider. Once children are grown and no longer need financial support, there can be pressure for the stay-at-home spouse to return to work. This can turn into a considerable disagreement if the stay-at-home spouse isn’t willing to seek employment or has difficulty finding a job.
3. Empty Nest
Often, when married couples have children, they focus most of their years on raising them. While raising kids was once a distraction from the marriage, when the kids are grown and have moved on with their own lives, the couple is now faced with the reality of their relationship. Whether they realize they have been living separate lives or no longer have things in common, it can be challenging to want to stay in a marriage that may feel unfulfilling — especially if the couple has grown apart.
4. Lack of Communication
When a couple has little to no communication, one or both spouses may resent the other. When other issues are unresolved, such as infidelity and money problems, not communicating can make the relationship much more challenging to continue. Bottling up feelings and then exploding in anger, criticism of the other partner, and defensiveness, when one spouse ignores the other and refuses to talk about the issues, can be a recipe for a divorce.
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Divorce is never easy, and when you’re considering divorce after being married for many years, it can make the process a bit more complex. Our team at Ford & Friedman is ready to answer your questions and ease your concerns. We are prepared to give you the knowledgeable advice and experienced representation you need so you can navigate the divorce process a little bit easier. We are committed to providing our clients with personalized attention and tailored solutions while protecting their rights.
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