Relationships evolve over time. As people age, their interests, needs and values change. Statistics show that for those over 50 years of age, those with whom they want to share that evolution differs from that with whom they married in youth. The effects of a gray divorce have numerous root causes and can extend throughout retirement.
What are Baby Boomers’ unique circumstances?
Unlike more recent generations, e.g., Gen X and millennials who have postponed marriage or rejected it altogether, baby boomers began to divorce during the 1970s. Some root causes, such as finances and infidelity, remain common to all marriages. However, external factors have contributed more to the increase in gray divorces.
Women’s roles in the workplace and society generally have changed, as have attitudes generally. Couples who operated a household with children now have empty-nest syndrome. A longer life expectancy combined with retirement also accounts for the increased divorce rate. A new life can bring new experiences, though, such as reconnecting with old friends, pursuing hobbies long ago left and pursuing bucket-list experiences.
How does the Texas marriage and divorce rate compare?
Unsurprisingly, divorce rates coincide directly with marriage rates. In Texas, marriage rates have plummeted over the past two decades. Between 1995 and 2020, divorce rates have from declined each year, with two exceptions, from a high of 9.9% in 1995 to a low of 4.9% in 2019. So far in 2022, Terrell ranks 22nd highest among the cities in Texas with a divorce rate of 12%.
While new experiences come with new beginnings, the legal ramifications of a gray divorce have many potential pitfalls, especially financial. Often, older couples have accumulated more assets and wealth, as a couple and individually prior to the marriage. Attorneys with an understanding of the law and its consequences can offer guidance.