In recent years, there has been an increase in the incidence of “gray divorce,” or divorce involving older married couples. While many in Marietta may think that divorce is only for the young, the new trends indicate that elderly couples are divorcing at higher rates than ever before. As the age of divorcés rise, it will be important to include gray divorce into the umbrella of family law issues that professionals can expect to handle.

It seems the leading factor contributing to gray divorce is the growing number of couples who have been married once or twice before. People who marry a second or subsequent time appear to have an approximately 150 percent greater risk of divorce than those who have only been married once.

Not surprisingly, the length or brevity of the marriage is also a factor in gray divorces. In 2009, approximately 50 percent of older couples ending their marriages were married for less than 20 years, as opposed to almost three-fifths of those staying together who celebrated 30 or more years of matrimony.

Not surprisingly, extramarital relations are just as big of a cause of divorce among older couples as they are among younger ones. Approximately 27 percent of older U.S. residents in the midst of a divorce stated that a cheating partner was what ultimately led to the separation.

Regardless of age, anyone going through a divorce will need the support of a strong family law attorney in order to protect him- or herself. A divorce does not have to leave someone financially ruined and with little to his or her name, but without an attorney many people may feel overwhelmed with what must be done to protect his or her interests.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “What Are the Risk Factors?” Carl Bialik, March 3, 2012