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The rise of gray divorce and why people should be concerned

When older couples end their marriage many people, including Washington residents, find it difficult to hide their surprise. After all, older couples seem to be more settled not just in life, but in their relationship. However, like other couples, baby boomers are not immune to relationship troubles, hence the tendency to seek divorce. Nonetheless, it is difficult not to be curious as to why gray divorces are rising and why it can be a cause for concern for Washington residents.

Almost a fourth of divorced people in the United States are over the age of 50. Around one out of 10 divorces involve couples 64 years of age and older. People often attribute the rise in gray divorce to couples being in their second or even third marriages but, according to experts, over half of baby boomer divorces are first marriages. Most of these marriages also lasted over 20 years.

While being together for over two decades seems like a good argument for couples to stay together, a long-standing relationship is no indication that a couple is happy. When kids are grown up and have moved out couples can be left with nothing in common and they grow apart. The end of a marriage, albeit a no-fault marriage, can be the logical choice. And, female spouses who are more financially independent may not feel the urge to stay with a husband who makes them unhappy.

The cause for concern in a gray divorce is often the wealth of the couple. Older couples may not have enough assets and finances to keep them afloat during their twilight years after they divorce. Wealth can take a considerable drop after property division. Then there is also the loss of companionship. This can leave a divorced Washington resident at a severe disadvantage.

Source: Time, "Why Your Grandparents Are Divorcing," Belinda Luscombe, Oct. 8, 2014

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