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Gray divorce: Parting ways later in life

When people exchange their wedding vows, they often include the phrase, ‘till death do us part.’ With more than half of all marriages ending in divorce, however, this isn’t always the case. In fact, the rate of divorce for people over the age of 50 in Louisiana and across the U.S. has climbed since 1990. A study analysis performed by Bowling Green State University found that in 1990, one in 10 people who were divorced fit in this age group. By 2011, the number jumped to one in four. Why has there been an increase of people filing for divorce after the age of 50?

Researchers have several reasons. When couples build their life around their work and children, it can be difficult to adjust once they retire or the child move out of the house. After spending so much time working on a career, couples may even find that they no longer have as much in common with their spouse and they may not care to spend time with one another. Since people are living longer, it makes sense for some couples to part ways and spend the rest of their days apart.

In years past, some women were not able to leave their spouse or file for divorce because they were financially dependent on them. The job market is booming and more women are entering the workforce in order to earn their own income. This gives women and men who are trapped in an unhappy marriage, the financial power to get their own job and break free. 

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