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More Americans over 50 are headed for divorce

In Tennessee and across the country, divorce rates have stabilized or even declined for Americans across nearly all demographics. While this trend has been widespread over the past 20 years, one demographic group has seen a dramatically different trend — people over the age of 50. Since the middle of the 1990s, the divorce rate among spouses over 50 has more than doubled. These separations are referred to as “gray divorces,” and today, approximately 25 percent of all divorces can be characterized as “gray.”

Of course, these statistics embrace both divorces that take place after many years of marriage as well as those that follow later-in-life second or third marriages. There are a number of reasons for this trend, including the fact that there are simply millions more Americans over 50 than there were in the past. In addition, these people are leading longer, healthier lives. While there were 63.5 million people over 50 across the country in 1990, that number rose to 99 million by 2010.

Between 1950 and 2016, the average life expectancy for both men and women rose by at least 10 years. In addition, those years are largely healthier and more active than they were in the past. This encourages people to move on from unhappy marriages. According to research, the majority of gray divorces involve major concerns such as infidelity, abuse, financial recklessness or drug addiction.

When people choose to divorce later in life, there are a number of repercussions to be considered, particularly when planning for retirement after property division. A family lawattorney can work with a divorcing spouse to pursue a fair settlement that addresses major issues, including asset division, spousal support and other matters.

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