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Is the divorce rate rising or falling?

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2022 | Divorce

You often find a lot of conflicting information when it comes to the divorce rate. Some people will say that the divorce rate is still at 50%, as it has been for decades. There are others who will say that a 50% divorce rate is a myth and that the real divorce rate is much lower. Some believe it is rising, while others believe it is falling.

So what’s really happening? This is a complicated situation, but you’ll begin to see why when you dig into the divorce rates for different age groups.

Gray divorce is growing more common

Specifically, what you’ll find is that divorce for those who are 50 years old and older is only going up. This is known in many circles as “gray divorce.” It is certainly true that gray divorce is getting to be more common and that the rate has been rising in recent years. It is vastly higher than it was for previous generations, but it is even rising compared to more recent statistics.

However, if you switch over and look at younger groups of married couples, you’ll find that the divorce rate is on the decline. It is growing less common for couples in their 20s, 30s and 40s to get divorced. But the fact that older couples are getting divorced more often may help to balance this out and keep the overall rate closer to 50%.

Why is gray divorce more common?

There are many different theories about the rise in gray divorce. Part of it, as noted above, is just a change over the generations. Some couples may have wanted to divorce years or decades ago and simply not felt comfortable doing it until now. People don’t look at divorce the way that they once did.

Another potential reason for the increase in gray divorce is hat life expectancy is going up and people want to get the most out of their golden years. There are those who were willing to stay married while they were raising children, but they want to get divorced as they move into this next stage in their life.

If you and your spouse do decide to get divorced, regardless of your age, be sure you understand exactly what legal steps to take.