As Kiplinger explains, the divorce rate is decreasing among the Millennial generation but is rising for Baby Boomers. The Pew Research Center has found that divorce has nearly doubled for adults aged 50 and over since the 1990s.
So why has divorce increased for older people? There are different reasons to explain the rise of “gray divorces.”
People are living longer
Science and medicine are increasing people’s life expectancies. Thanks to improvements in medical treatments and awareness of life-extending choices, you may live into your 80s or 90s or perhaps reach 100 if your health endures.
However, a greater life expectancy means your marriage may also last longer. Some people in their 50s who are in an unhappy marriage recognize that their union may last a few more decades and do not want to put up with an unpleasant marital situation for that long.
People are postponing divorce
Couples who are going through rough times may put off divorce so they can raise their children together. This means a couple in their 20s may stay together until their children are adults and have moved away, by which time the couple may be in their 40s or 50s. Sometimes a couple can work through their problems, but this does not always happen and the couple goes through with a divorce anyway.
People are divorcing multiple times
Because people are living longer, there are more opportunities for a divorced person to remarry. However, studies of post-divorce marriages have found Baby Boomers have a higher rate of divorce on their next marriages. So it is possible that after a divorce, you may go through a divorce again. Some individuals go through three or four marriages before they find a partner they want to stay with.
The chance of a gray divorce makes it important to have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to address the division of your assets, as you do not want a divorce in your older years to endanger your retirement. You may have to draft a prenup again if you remarry.