You may have heard that gray divorce has been on the rise over the last few decades. This term has come to generally mean any late-in-life divorce, perhaps by those nearing retirement age.

But do you know why this is happening more often? Let’s take a look at some of the reasons.

  1. Changing social stigmas. Divorce is more accepted now than it was in the past. It could be that some couples wanted to get divorced in their 30s, for instance, but felt that they could not do so. Now, they have the freedom, three decades later, so they’re moving forward with it.
  2. People live longer. The higher life expectancy reaches, the longer people have to grow apart or run into serious issues like addiction or infidelity. Living longer is a blessing, but it may also end marriages.
  3. The children go to college. With high college attendance rates in modern America, it means that a lot of parents are suddenly “empty nesters” when that child moves out. Some wait until then to file for divorce, even if they wanted to do so before.
  4. Financial stress. Growing older can lead to financial issues, such as realizing you do not have enough saved up for retirement or running into expensive medical problems that sap the family funds. Financial stress is a common reason for divorce, and it can happen at any age.

If you are growing older and still thinking of ending your marriage, for any of the reasons listed above or for another reason entirely, make sure you know exactly what legal options you have.