In Washington, an increasing percentage of divorces are gray divorces, which are divorces that are filed by people who are older than age 50. The number of gray divorces has increased dramatically since 1990. There are several explanations for why more older couples are deciding to get divorced.
One explanation for the increase in gray divorces is that baby boomers are getting older. In 1990, there were 63.5 million people in the U.S. who were aged 50 or older. In 2016, by contrast, this age group expanded to 99 million people. The number of people who are 50 or older is expected to continue to rise to more than 158 million people by 2050. While the increasing number of people over age 50 is certainly a major reason that there are more divorces in that age group, there are also other factors at play.
People are also living longer, meaning that they might be less willing to stay together when they might spend years together. Older people may get divorced when they feel that their partners are not living up to their responsibilities in the marriage. They might be prompted to end their marriages because of longstanding issues of alcohol abuse, emotional abuse or infidelity that they are simply no longer willing to accept.
There are many reasons why older adults make the decision to get divorced. When people who are 50 or older divorce, they may have to deal with more complex issues, including property division and retirement issues. Getting help from family law attorneys who are experienced in handling complex divorce matters may make the process easier. Lawyers may advise their clients on how they might protect their abilities to retire and live comfortably after their divorces have been finalized. Attorneys might be able to negotiate agreements that settle all of the disputed issues without going through litigation.