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Investigating The Gray Divorce Phenomenon

An increasing number of couples over the age of 60 are filing for divorce, which can affect peoples’ lives in many ways.

While many people enter in a marital union with the belief that they will be together forever, a number of marriages in Georgia and across the country end in legal separation or divorce. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that approximately 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. As the baby boomer population grows older, the number of divorces that occur in people over the age of 60 has also increased.

According to a study conducted by Bowling Green University, a mere 2.8 percent of couples over the age of 50 filed for divorce nearly 50 years ago. In 2009, the divorce rate for this age group increased to 11.8 percent, and by 2011, it increased again to 15.4 percent. This number is expected to increase as more couples age.

The causes of gray divorce

There are a number of reasons couples may file for divorce later in life. People are living longer and many are enjoying a healthier and more active lifestyle. Rather than live out the rest of their lives trapped in an unhappy relationship, some people may choose to divorce and connect with someone that they wish to spend their remaining years with.

Empty nest syndrome is another precursor to gray divorce. Couples who build their relationships around their children may have difficulties finding common ground once their kids leave the house. In some cases, couples may discover that they no longer have anything in common and may choose to part ways. This can also happen with retirement.

Years ago, people may have been forced to stay in a bad relationship if they were financially dependent on their spouses. As women have infiltrated the work force, they have become more independent and no longer are entrapped in a marriage because of financial reasons.

The implications

While many people may find freedom through divorce at an older age, it can have certain implications on peoples' lives. Spouses who were financially dependent on their wives or husbands during the course of their marriage may find it hard to make ends meet once they are separated. They may be forced back out into the workforce or need to apply for financial assistance through the state or federal government.

Furthermore, couples that divorce over the age of 60 may have to rely on their children for emotional and financial support. This can put a strain on relationship and cause resentment in the family.

Working through the turmoil

If you are considering filing for divorce at any age, you may want to speak to a family attorney in Georgia regarding your legal options. Going through a divorce can be an emotional process, and it may be helpful to have a lawyer on your side to assist you in making crucial decisions that could affect the rest of your life.

For compassionate family law representation, contact The Law Office of Ashley McCartney, LLC, in Atlanta, by calling 404-692-6263 for a free initial consultation with a lawyer.

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The Law Office of Ashley McCartney, LLC, is located in Atlanta, Georgia, and serves the communities of Midtown, Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Marietta, Smyrna, Mableton, North Atlanta, Roswell, Alpharetta, Woodstock, Kennesaw, Chamblee, Tucker, Decatur, Conyers and Vinings, as well as throughout Fulton County, Cobb County, DeKalb County, Cherokee County, Clayton County and Rockdale County.
 

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