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Gray divorces: What does this trend mean for Texas couples?

If you are like many other baby boomers in Texas and across the country, the thought of getting divorced may have crossed your mind in recent years. In fact, more than 15 percent of people 50 and older have gotten a divorce recently, according to the results of the 2011 Census Bureau's American Community Survey. This was a significant increase from the 2.8 percent of people over 50 years old who were divorced 50 years ago. 

For years, the overall rate of divorce has stayed relatively stable, hovering around 50 percent or so. And some reports suggest that the divorce rate may be declining. So why are so many more people in this age bracket ending their marriages? 

When you think about the factors that are often in play in what researchers are calling "gray divorces," it makes sense that more baby boomers are opting to end a marriage.

For example, many of these people have been unsatisfied in the marriage for a long time, but have not wanted to get divorced for the sake of the children. By the age of 50, kids have grown up and left the house, giving parents the space they need to make decisions for their own wellbeing.

Life spans are also longer than they used to be. Because people are living longer, there are many more active years ahead of a person after raising a family, returning to work or retirement. Rather than stay in an unsatisfying marriage for that long, many people are feeling as though they would rather spend that part their lives with someone else.

Whatever the reasons are for a couple to make the decision to divorce, it is important that they not be taken lightly. Ending a marriage can be a complicated process, especially when couples have spent many years together building and sharing homes, investments and assets. Untangling all these factors can be tricky, but with legal support, people can work through their divorce and begin the next chapter of their lives. 

Source: The New York Times, "Divorce After 50 Grows More Common," Sam Roberts, Sept. 20, 2013

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