Divorce and the Elderly
The divorce rate has ballooned over the past few decades, with around 50% of all marriages today ending in divorce. The popular opinion of marriage has changed, and the social mores surrounding divorce have been significantly revised. No longer is divorce tantamount to social suicide. People no longer treat divorcees as if they were defective goods being returned to the store. Attitudes across the board, at all age groups, have changed, and we expect different things from marriage today than our parents and grandparents did.
That being said, divorce rates among the elderly are still very low. About 1% of all divorces involve people over the age of 65, with about 4% involving people between the ages of 50 and 64. To put this in perspective, nearly 25% of all divorces involve people between the ages of 25 and 29. More conservative perceptions of divorce are much more common in the elderly, after all.
That being said, even though such divorces are still comparatively rare, the rates have gone up over the years.
The general consensus amongst experts is that divorce rates will remain low at the 65+ age group, regardless of cultural or societal opinions of divorce. The opinion is that marriages that have lasted that long have probably weathered the kinds of problems that would cause other people to get divorced. After all, if a couple has hung on together for that long, they’re probably not going to suddenly get a divorce. Though the number of elderly divorcees will rise (mostly because divorce rates across the board are up, and because people who got divorced younger will be less likely to remarry), the number of elderly divorces will not statistically increase much more.
While there will not be a statistical increase in the number of divorces amongst the elderly, there will be an increase in the number of elderly divorcees.
All that is just statistics, though. Statistics merely show a general trend, and they don’t really apply to any individual marriage. Every marriage, after all, is different. The elderly today are fortunate to live in a society that is more accepting of divorce, and if your particular marriage is not a happy one, it’s worth considering your options for divorce. There is no reason that you should continue to live unhappily, if just for appearances. This is especially true for marriages in which the children are grown and gone.
If you are interested in learning more about divorce options, and divorce for the elderly, visit http://www.kleinattorneys.com