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More MO Couples Filing For Divorce After Decades Of Marriage

More people are filing for divorce after the age of 50. This gray divorce phenomenon may be attributed to several factors.

Once couples have been married for a certain amount of time, some people believe that they will be married forever. Although it may seem as though they have survived the most difficult parts of marriage, couples in Missouri do file for divorce after being together for several decades. In fact, more couples over the age of 50 are terminating their marriage now than ever before.

According to a study conducted by Bowling Green State University, approximately one in 10 couples over the age of 50 divorced in 1990. This number jumped to one in four couples in 1990 and is expected to continue climbing. By 2030, this age group may see as many as 800,000 divorces each year. Statistics also show that couples who have been through two or three marriages are even more likely to file for divorce after 50. So what is leading to this dramatic rise in gray divorce?

Contributing factors to gray divorce

Researchers report that there are several factors that can lead to divorce later in a couple’s marriage. When a couple’s relationship focuses solely on their children’s activities, education and upbringing, they may find it hard to spend time alone with one another once the children leave the home. This is referred to as empty nest syndrome, and it can cause some couples to split once the kids move out.

Similarly, when people enter into retirement, they may find that they no longer share the same interests with their spouse. This can cause complications when one spouse retires before the other, as the working spouse may become bitter toward the other and find their partner lazy. Furthermore, when both spouses retire together, they may decide to part ways rather than spend the remainder of their years together in an unhappy relationship.


Whatever the exact cause may be, filing for divorce later in life can have implications on one’s financial, emotional and physical stability. It can be difficult to except the fact that a marriage is over after investing 20 to 30 years in it. Some people may be left with financial hardships if they depended on their spouse for financial support. In some cases, people may be left to reenter the workforce or even apply for government assistance.

Surviving a gray divorce

Divorce can be an emotionally trying time for everyone involved. There’s no question that it can be difficult to make important decisions during this hard time. It may be beneficial to seek counsel from a knowledgeable family attorney. Not only will a lawyer in Missouri look out for your best interests but he or she may help you explore all of your legal rights and options.

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Illinois State Bar Association
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