The Washington Post writes that since 1990, the divorce rate for Americans over age 50 has doubled, and more than doubled for those over the age of 65, while divorce rates for other age groups has stabilized or dropped. Now one out of every four people experiencing divorce in the United States is 50 or older, and nearly one in 10 is 65 or older, according to a new report by Susan L. Brown and I-Fen Lin, sociologists at Bowling Green State University
The article notes that more than half of all gray divorces are for couples in first marriages and 55% of gray divorces are for couples married more than 20 years.“ For all age groups, divorce tends to be initiated by women.
For individuals in good health and with financial resources, a gray divorce may mean an era of freedom and independence, but for others, divorce at an older age increases the risk of falling into poverty. On average, older divorced Americans have only 20% as much wealth as older married couples. And the net wealth of those who’ve been widowed over age 50 is more than twice the wealth for the “gray divorced.”
As a result, divorced older people have less social support.