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Exploring the Gray Divorce Phenomenon in Maryland

Law Office of Kari Holm Fawcett

America has experienced a spike in the number of people over the age of 50 who are filing for divorce, also referred to as the gray divorce phenomenon.

Although many people dream of capturing lifelong love and romance through marriage, approximately 50 percent of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The concept of divorce is becoming more popular for couples who have been married for a long period of time and are nearing retirement. Researchers from Bowling Green State University have found that more people over the age of 50 are getting divorced than ever before. Many people are searching for answers as to why gray divorce has become so prevalent in Maryland and across the country.

A Look at The Numbers

The results obtained from the study conducted by researchers at Bowling Green State University found that one in four couples over the age of 50 filed for divorce in 2009, which is a substantial increase from the one in ten couples in the same age group who filed for divorce in 1990. The study, which was published in the Huffington Post, estimates that by 2030, more than 800,000 couples 50 years and older will divorce each year.

Possible Causes of Gray Divorce

After looking at the significant statistics showing a rise in the divorce rate of aging Americans, it is easy to see that more couples are choosing to live their lives apart from their spouses after decades of marriage. Some point to an increase in financial stability as one reason for this change. As the economy continues to improve, more women and men alike are able to support themselves financially, and no longer rely on one another to make ends meet, according to Bloomberg.

People are also living longer lives and may decide that they no longer wish to spend their remaining years in an unhappy relationship. According to The Fiscal Times, marital dynamics change after people retire. It can be difficult for some to adjust their daily routines, household responsibilities and finances once they have retired.

This can also happen for couples who experience empty nest syndrome or the feeling of an empty house once the children leave for college. People who base their relationship around raising their children may feel lost once that connection is gone. Communities Digital News explains how couples can be forced to reexamine their relationship when they are left alone with one another. Some may find that they no longer wish to be together.

How an Attorney Can Help

Divorce can affect one’s life in many ways, no matter what age you are. An established attorney can help walk you through the divorce process and ensure that you get everything that you are entitled to in the divorce settlement.

Keywords: divorce, retirement, assets, gray divorce