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As divorce rates level out, gray divorce continues to rise

Doe-eyed lovers often recite "till death do us part" when marrying, but most people in New York understand that this sentiment is more customary than binding. Real life can create a number of different obstacles for married couples, some of which can be surpassed, and some that cannot. As divorce becomes a more accepted reality for modern day life, many older couples are now foregoing the aforementioned aspect of their vows.

While divorce rates among almost every age group have been leveling out in recent years, one age group stands out -- those of retirement age. An increased life expectancy has been attributed to the rising divorce rate for those aged 50 years and older, but some believe that there is more to it than that. Increased economic stability has made it easier for women of that generation to separate from long-time spouses without the burden of going into poverty.

The increased life expectancy also forces some people to question whether they want to spend the remainder of their years in a less-than-satisfactory marriage. Even couples who were quite happy during earlier years sometimes have a very different idea of what retirement should entail. What one partner finds meaningful might leave the other feeling dissatisfied and unhappy, creating a volatile environment.

The rising phenomenon of gray divorce is not necessarily negative, as it is often attributed to couples who are simply no longer happy being in a relationship with one another. However, older couples might have a few additional worries that do not affect their younger New York counterparts during the divorce process. The closer retirement is the more difficult it can be to prepare as a single individual rather than one part of a couple, making asset division an especially important process for both parties.

Source: wrvo.org, "Divorce later in life becoming more common", May 7, 2016

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