Over the past twenty years divorce rates have doubled for those over 50. The conventional notion of a marriage being “safe” from divorce after so many years seems to no longer apply.
It’s being called “Gray Divorce” and it is attributed to a number of reasons.
One being the growing cultural acceptance of divorce. Fifty, or even twenty years ago divorce was still widely regarded as a “failure,” it was a point of shame for many. However, in a culture which is now embracing divorce in new ways, such as with parties and ceremonies, getting divorced is becoming more and more a fact of life. The idea of marriage being a lifelong institution has been questioned for some time and this cultural acceptance can be seeping into the older members of our communities. Seniors may no longer feel pressured to stay in marriages that are unfulfilled and as they go through changes in their life such as retirement and there is a growing sentiment of making the last years the “best” years.
How we as a culture perceive marriage has also changed along with the perceptions on divorce. In the 1950s and 1960s the success of a marriage was primarily defined by how successfully each partner completed their roles. If the wife was a successful homemaker and the husband financially supported the family the marriage was considered to be a success. The 1970s gave birth to a new family of thought regarding self-fulfillment from marriage. That there is, and should be, more to marriage than just completing roles which help run a household. The long-term effects of this may be visible in that it is often times the women initiating the “Gray Divorce.” If the marriage isn’t emotionally satisfying than divorce is now a viable option.
The final hypothesis for this increase in senior divorce is simply that over the years couples drift apart. While there had been obligations keeping couples together such as children, or financial reasons, in the older years these may diminish greatly in importance, ultimately leading to divorce.
Whatever the case may be, the Men’s Divorce Law Firm of Orlando, Florida supports couples making decisions for the health of themselves and their family at any age. From divorces to grandparent’s rights we have the experience to help you with your family law needs. Contact us today to see how we can help.