Gray divorce: More TX couples call it quits after years of marriage

More people over the age of 50 are getting divorced. Referred to as gray divorce, this trend may be linked to several causes.

The divorce rate in Texas and in other parts of America for people over the age of 50 is growing at a substantial pace. While some people point to the aging population of baby boomers as a possible reason for this trend referred to as gray divorce, others believe that it is due to an increase in the life expectancy rate and an improvement in the economy. The New York Times reported that the divorce rate of this age group increased from 2.8 percent approximately 50 years ago, to 15.4 percent in 2011, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey. An additional 2.1 percent of couples are separated.

Not only does this trend have serious implications on peoples' physical and emotional health, it can also increase the amount of government support that some people need to stay financially stable, placing a heavy economic strain on society. At a time when people should be enjoying their retirement and growing old with one another, the divorce rate is higher than ever. Although every marital situation is unique, there are some common factors involved in divorce among older couples.

Improving economy and financial stability

With an increase in real estate prices and a decrease in the unemployment rate, more American families are able to find economic stability. Many couples, who were forced to put their divorce on hold due to insufficient finances, are now able to fund a separation and are going through with the legal proceedings. According to Bloomberg News, the unemployment rate dropped to 6.6 percent earlier this year, and for women it declined to 5.9 percent. The news report explains how divorced women or women interested in getting a divorce rely on employment for financial support. With more jobs available, women are able to find a way to make their own money without help from their spouse.

Empty nest syndrome

Empty nest syndrome is a phrase used to describe the way parents feel and behave when their children have grown and left the home to pursue an education or a career. Many parents become so involved in their children's' lives that they lose touch with one another in all of the hustle and bustle, which can have long-term consequences on a marriage. Homes that were once active with children are now quiet, and couples are forced to reexamine their relationship. According to Communities Digital News, some empty nesters have survived years of marital problems and have simply remained together 'for the kids.' Once the kids have left the nest, the couple is able to go their separate ways.

Seeking counsel

While some couples turn to therapists to help them through this hard time, others turn to attorneys for legal counsel on how to begin the divorce process. There are many things to consider, including finances, retirement and separation of property. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you make crucial decisions on how to handle your divorce.

Keywords: divorce, retirement, assets