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Fewer couples over 50 living happily ever after

Gray divorce on the rise

Divorce among couples over the age of 50 is on the rise in Louisiana and throughout the United States. Though the overall divorce rate has declined over the decades, the rate of so-called “gray divorce” doubled from 1990 to 2010.

Why are more couples over age 50 getting divorced?

Part of the reason why gray divorce has become increasingly common is that individuals are living longer than they did in past generations. Though it may have been relatively easy to stick out a mediocre marriage when a spouse did not expect to live as long, people now are expecting to live at least 20 to 30 years after they retire, meaning they know they will be spending more time with their partners. It also helps that divorce has lost its stigma over the years, and thus there is less social pressure to stay unhappily married.

Women gaining more independence

Another reason for the rise of gray divorce could be the women’s empowerment movement. As women begin to feel more independent, financially or otherwise, it becomes easier for them to walk away from unacceptable behavior, such as adultery or even abuse.

Emotional distance over the decades

The main reason older couples file for divorce, according to one therapist, is a sense of emotional disconnect. This family therapist said she generally sees couples get divorced either within the first seven years of marriage or after being married about 20 years, as individuals realize they do not want to spend the rest of their lives with each other.

What happens in Louisiana divorces?

Divorce at any age can be complicated. In Louisiana, which is a community property state, a judge must determine what property or assets were acquired or earned during the marriage so that they can be divided equally unless the parties otherwise agree. If you are going through a divorce, an experienced family law attorney could help you pursue assets to which you are entitled.

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