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Surge in gray divorce may be caused by several factors

There are several factors that contribute to the rise of the gray divorce phenomenon.

When couples vow to remain together 'until death do us part,' many don't anticipate filing for divorce at some point during their marriage. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported, however, that nearly 50 percent of marriages do not make it that far. While a number of people may remain married well into their senior years, the number of people filing for divorce at 50 years of age and older has increased significantly over the past few decades. Many people in Illinois and across the country are wondering what factors are contributing to this surge in gray divorce and how this phenomenon can affect people's lives during their retirement years.

The facts

Nearly 50 years ago, 2.8 percent of Americans over the age of 50 filed for divorce, according to the Census Bureau's Americans Community Survey. In 2011, that number rose to 15.4 percent. The same survey indicated that one in 10 people who decided to terminate their marriage were 50 years or older in 1990. That number increased to one in four by 2011.

A growing job market

As the job market continues to grow, there are more job opportunities for people who wish to reenter the workforce. People who have either been retired or have stayed home to raise a family may decide to find a job so that they can become financially independent. This can also help people who have been dependent on their spouses' income for years, but have been trapped in an unhappy marriage. People can now go out and find jobs of their own.

An increased life expectancy rate

According to the New York Times, longer life expectancy rates can also lead to higher rates of divorce later in life. Once retired, healthy people may have up to 25 years of life left to enjoy. People who are no longer working spend longer period of time together, and may discover that they no longer share the same interests. Rather than stay together, couples may choose to part ways and begin again.

Obtaining legal counsel

Deciding to end your marriage is a touch decision, and one that should not be made without careful thought and planning. A family attorney in Illinois may be helpful to people who want to file for divorce, but need to cover their bases when it comes to ensuring they get everything they are entitled to in the divorce settlement.

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