Although most couples vow to stay together until “death do us part,” a significant portion of marriages in the United States end in divorce. Although certain factors such as the couple’s age and education level can play a role in whether they will divorce or not, there is no guarantee that a couple will or will not file for divorce at some point in their future.
One group that has seen an uptick in divorces over the past few decades is Americans over the age of 50. In fact, the divorce rate for individuals in this age group has doubled since 1990. There are numerous reasons for this trend, including changed attitudes about divorce and remarriage and the current life expectancy for Americans. This trend is colloquially known as “gray divorce.”
Divorce rates in the United States began to rise in the 1970s. This is because by 1970, nearly all states permitted no-fault divorces, which meant that it was much easier to obtain a divorce than before because it was no longer necessary to prove that one’s spouse had committed a crime or a marital sin such as abandonment, abuse, or adultery in order to have the court approve a divorce. At that time, it was rare for older couples to seek divorces because even though they had the option, attitudes about marriage and divorce from their youth prevailed and kept many in unhappy marriages.
Americans who are in their 40s, 50s, and 60s today lived through this uptick in divorces. In fact, many are the children of parents who divorced during this time, so many grew up seeing divorce as a normal, frequently-occurring part of life. They are desensitized to divorce and see it as a solution to a dysfunctional marriage.
As discussed above, divorce is no longer the taboo that it once was. This is not only due to the experiences that many Americans have lived, but the priorities we have. Decades ago, divorce would often mean financial ruin for a wife. Today, most women work outside the home and can support themselves after divorce.
Currently, the life expectancy for an American is 78.74 years old. In 1970, the life expectancy was nearly a full decade less at 70.81. Simply put, we are living longer than ever before and that has changed our perspective. At 60, an individual could have another 20, 25, or even 30 years left to live, and the prospect of spending those years in an unhappy marriage can be dismal. Rather than simply accepting that one will spend the rest of his or her life in an unhappy marriage, many Americans are choosing to spend their golden years single or in more fulfilling relationships.
No matter how old you are, you deserve to be happy. If your marriage is making you unhappy, consider ending it through divorce. However, divorce is not something to take lightly. Educate yourself about the divorce process and all that it entails by discussing it with an experienced Somerset divorce lawyer. If you are seeking a divorce in New Jersey, fill out our online form or call the Law Offices of Kisha M. Hebbon, LLC in Somerset at 732-873-6464 today to schedule your initial consultation with us.
We represent clients throughout New Jersey including Somerset County, Middlesex County, Union County and including but not limited to the towns of Somerset, Franklin, Bridgewater, New Brunswick, East Brunswick, Plainfield, Edison, Metuchen, Woodbridge, Piscataway, Old Bridge, Rahway, Linden, Elizabeth, Cranford, Summit, Union, Clark, Elizabeth, Berkeley Heights, and Scotch Plains.