We’ve all read the reports on divorce rates rising among people in their 20s and 30s. The statistics generally bring to mind images of young men and women who date for a year, elope in Vegas and divorce a few months later. This idea is propagated by pop culture and embodied by celebrities, but a recent New York Times article takes a look at a different generation’s relationship with divorce.
Sociologists have noticed a growing rate of divorce among people over 50, which is particularly interesting, because more than half of the married population is over 50 years old. Although research shows that the longer two people are married, the greater the chance that they will stay together, sociologists were surprised to find that, for the first time, more people are divorced than widowed. Specifically, about 15 percent of people over 50 are divorced, and 13.5 percent are widowed.
This may be because baby boomers no longer need to stay together for their children. Their children are now adults and marrying. Many young married couples don’t divorce in order to avoid child custody and child support issues, but people over 50 don’t have to worry about that. The new statistics may also be a result of changing social perspectives in regard to divorce. Today, it’s a much more acceptable practice.
Divorce rates for people older than 50 could also be rising because of retirement. Many couples don’t anticipate how much retirement can affect their relationships. Men and women both tether their identities to their work, and, once they retire, they may struggle to maintain a healthy relationship.
One sociologist points to increased lifespans and healthier lifestyles as reasons for the rise in divorce rates. More and more people over fifty are leading very healthy lifestyles and are expecting to live another 20 to 30 years. Facing decades of healthy life ahead of them, many people can no longer stay in a relationship that lacks intimacy and love.
If you are considering a divorce, our staff is here to help. At Elliot Green Law Offices, we handle all kinds of family law, from contested and uncontested divorce to child support and custody. Contact us with questions or to schedule a case evaluation at 718-260-8668.