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Are divorce rates declining?

As of late, young love has a new meaning, and “everlasting” is a good word to start. The U.S. divorce rate has dropped by 18 percent from 2008 to 2016. New data shows that younger couples today are approaching marriage differently. Tying the knot is happening later in life, after finishing school and laying a financial foundation.

On the other hand, baby boomers are more likely to make the split. According to Bowling Green’s National Center for Family and Marriage Research, the divorce rate for older couples nearly doubled from 1990 to 2015. While the increase is beginning to level out, people aged 55 and older are still divorcing at higher rates.

Explaining grey divorce as a trend

Couples are getting divorced later in life. Some people come to the realization that their current situation isn’t working out, and they have the resources to essentially start over. There are a few reasons why divorce is becoming more common among seniors, which includes:

  • People are living longer. Statistics show that people are generally healthier now than in the past. Data even suggests 30 years longer. With a longer lifespan, comes the opportunity to make big choices and big changes. Some retirees may not feel the pressure to stay with one person the rest of their lives.
  • The stigma has gone down. Divorce has become increasingly more accepted in religion and society as a whole. Divorce is not considered a failure, but is instead viewed as a part of humanity. Couples look at the split more positively.
  • The process is easier. Ending a marriage is emotionally difficult, and can be heartbreaking. However, the process of divorce can go smoothly when both spouses agree it is the right choice for them.
  • Couples just want a change. With retirement the horizon, some spouses are ready for things more unfamiliar. Maybe couples end up disagreeing about spending habits, or their sex drive differs. Overall, individuals might be searching for a new partner with similar habits.

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