A team of researchers at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University recently made national headlines when they published the results of a study indicating that divorce rates among senior citizens are sharply on the rise. While overall divorce rates have remained relatively steady over the last two decades – and have actually been decreasing in Ohio – the study’s data suggest that senior citizens are more likely to get divorced now than ever before.
New Study Out of Ohio Shows Significant Increase in Senior Divorce Rate
According to the study, released by the university’s National Center for Family and Marriage Research, there are a number of different factors that may help explain the rise in so-called “grey” divorces. Some of the most-likely explanations include:
- Heightened Expectations – In today’s society, people tend to expect more out of their marriages than in years past. Whereas senior citizens may have been content to remain married solely for the sake of remaining married 25 years ago, that justification for sticking it out in an unfulfilling marriage has largely been eroded.
- Growing Apart – While younger couples tend to get divorced for a specific reason such as financial stress or adultery, according to the study’s authors, “grey” divorces are much more commonly the result of elderly partners “simply grow[ing] apart.”
- Improved Health and Live Expectancy – In addition, today, senior citizens are living longer and healthier lives. When a marriage begins to erode at age 65, a discontent spouse looking ahead to the next 20-plus years may see more value in making a change.
- Easier Access to Dating – This general improvement in old-age health is also making it easier for senior citizens to re-enter the dating scene. In addition, the study’s authors note that online dating is “surging” in popularity among the country’s older generations.
The Numbers on the Growing Trend of “Grey” Divorces
So, just how much has the divorce rate among senior citizens increased? Here are some of the most-telling statistics published in the study:
- For senior citizens, the divorce rate has more than doubled since 1990. During this same period, the nation’s overall divorce rate has remained virtually the same.
- More than half of all “grey” divorces involve the first marriage.
- Including all marriages, more than 50% of couples who get a “grey” divorce have been married 20 years or longer.
The statistics on senior-citizen divorces are particularly noteworthy for their departure from the norms of times past and among today’s younger couples. This shows that today’s seniors are thinking for themselves and that they are more willing to take action to pursue happier and more fulfilling lives when their marriages devolve over time.
If you are considering divorce as a senior citizen, it is important that you speak with an experienced family law attorney. In order to make sure your divorce gives you the new lease on the life you desire, you will need to carefully plan and prepare for what is to come. At Laubacher & Co., we can walk you through what you can expect during your divorce, and we can help you position yourself to maintain your financial stability once your divorce is final.
Speak with an Experienced Divorce Attorney at Laubacher & Co.
For more information about filing for divorce in Ohio, we encourage you to contact us for a free, confidential consultation. To speak with one of our experienced Cleveland divorce attorneys about your personal circumstances, call (440) 336-8687 or inquire online today.