In recent years, studies have found that gray divorce (the divorce of those who are 50 and older) is growing more popular. Since the 1990s, this rate has essentially doubled. Other divorce rates have fallen in that same time.

Why is gray divorce so common and even growing more so? Some believe that it has to do with longer lives and higher life expectancies. They point out that some people live up to three decades longer than retired people did in previous generations. That’s a lot of time spent with a spouse. Couples that may have stayed together before are now looking at that time and wondering what they can make of it.

In many cases, they may feel like it is finally “their time” to do what they want with their lives. They have spent their whole lives working toward goals: Going to college, getting a job, saving for retirement, having children, raising the children. Now they have done it all. They could still have 20 or 30 years left, and they want to make those the best 20 or 30 years that they can.

If someone is unhappy in their marriage and has been for some time, are they going to stay married during these important years? Or are they finally going to ask for a divorce so that they can feel free to do whatever they want? This may be especially true with those who have different goals, such as a wife who wants to travel the world and a husband who just wants to stay at home in the suburbs.

As gray divorce keeps growing more common, those involved need to know their legal options.

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