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Divorce rate for older couples is rising

In Florida and across the United States, people have been dealing with complex societal and personal circumstances while trying to maintain a functional family unit. It is undoubtedly difficult and in some cases results in divorce. This is especially prevalent for people 55 and older. When people are assessing their options, it is important to think about the future.

Evidence indicates uptick in divorces for people age 55 and up

According to relationship experts, older people are no longer simply accepting dissatisfaction with their marital situation as they did in the past and are moving forward with divorce. At the same time, this is happening while younger people are getting fewer divorces. Overall, divorce is on the decline. In the four decades between 1979 and 2017, the rate dropped by 29%. However, people 55 and older were getting divorced three times as often. This was also evident for people 65 and older, which multiplied by almost 2.8.

It is believed that so-called “empty nesters” who are unhappy are not willing to just remain together. With people living longer, there is a reluctance to remain in a relationship that is unfulfilling, especially when people believe that they may have around 30 more years to live. Some marriages can be saved with improved communication and counseling. Others are less salvageable. The decreased stigma surrounding divorce is also a factor as one-third of people 50 and older are unmarried, never got married, have gotten divorced or are widowed.

Dealing with the inherent challenges in a divorce

Regardless of a person’s age, there are many issues that must be navigated when ending a marriage. When there is significant property at stake, it is imperative to understand the need to be fully protected. Older people might have disagreements over who gets the marital home and how retirement accounts are divided, among other concerns. Accordingly, it is wise to have legal guidance throughout the process.