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Divorce Rate Climbs Among Those Aged 55 to 64

Why are more couples in their 50s and 60s filing for divorce?

While the divorce rate has overall held steady in the past few years, one segment of the population is saying “it’s over” at an alarmingly high rate. The divorce rate among adults over the age of 55 is twice as high as it was in the 1990s, as reported by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research. OurAustin, Texas divorce lawyers at Stinson Moyle, PLLC, discuss this puzzling divorce trend and how you can keep your marriage intact below.

Why Some Long-Term Marriages Fall Apart

At first glance, it may seem odd that so many couples over 50, who have been married for decades and survived the challenges of raising children, end up divorced. Several main causes have been identified as leading to divorce among the post-50 crowd. Potential reasons for marital strain in a long-term marriage include:

  1. Empty Nest: Parents put so much time and energy into raising children. Once the children leave the family nest and head off to live on their own, parents may find themselves feeling like strangers. Without the children pulling them together, these long-term marriages can crumble.

  2. Need for Fulfillment: With people living longer, many spouses in their mid-50s to early 60s feel a need to make sure their Golden Years are as fulfilling as possible. In an effort to make every moment count, spouses could drift apart. Living longer also means the possibility of avoiding decades more of unhappiness for couples that are already on the rocks.

  3. Less of a Focus on the Importance of Marriage: Society as a whole tends to place less emphasis on the importance of the institution of marriage than it did in the past. Divorce is now accepted and commonplace. There is little stigma associated with divorce, and single people in their 50s and 60s often live fun and fulfilling lives. Without societal pressure to stay together in a less than perfect union, long-term marriages may end.

Every marriage is unique, but there are a few steps that all spouses could take to strengthen their marriage. Couples should start by making sure they communicate and listen to one another. Many problems can be avoided with good communication. Spouses that are entering a new chapter in their lives together need to recognize that change is normal and to be expected. Lastly, do not be afraid to seek professional help to assist you and your spouse through marital troubles.