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Why the rate of gray divorces is increasing

While divorce rates have stabilized for most age groups, they have actually surged for spouses 50 and over. In a recent study, it was estimated that 25 percent of all divorces were gray (involved people 50 and older). While part of the reason for the dramatic increase is because the Baby Boomers are aging, there may be some societal factors as well. California couples may want to pay attention to these trends.

Prior to the 1960s, the basis for marriage was often the binding of responsibilities. Divorce was generally only acceptable if a spouse violated his or her vows of binding responsibilities. After the 1960s, which saw a period of social unrest, the expectations surrounding marriage changed. Marriage became about self-fulfillment and personal self-actualization. If an ex-spouse began to feel unfulfilled, he or she could exit the marriage by asking for a divorce.

However, there are also other reasons that Baby Boomers may get a divorce after the age of 50. Some former spouses just grow apart as their interests split. Still others opt for a gray divorce when their former partners have physical affairs or develop money-spending problems. Some ex-spouses may even disagree with how their children are being raised, which could lead to arguments.

Going through a divorce can be difficult, especially for someone who has built a life with their ex-spouse. If a couple has been married for decades, the property division process may be particularly difficult as it could have an impact on both former spouses' retirement. A family law attorney may help a client with the property division process.

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Judy L. Ford Attorney at Law
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