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Separating After 50: The Psychological And Economic Effects of ‘Gray Divorce’




circa 1955:  A married couple contemplating divorce.
circa 1955: A married couple contemplating divorce.
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Divorce is difficult at any age, but a spate of recent studies suggests that so-called ‘gray divorce,’ among adults over the age of 50, is especially damaging psychologically and financially. 

And it’s also becoming more common. While the larger divorce rates in the U.S. are on the decline, rates of divorce among older couples are increasing. That’s because young people are delaying or even foregoing marriage, while baby boomers, whose divorce rated spiked in the 1970s, are continuing their trend of separating even as they get older. 

One recent study from the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio found that people who’ve divorced in older age report higher levels of depression than those whose partner has died -- and recovery from divorce takes about four years. 

There’s also the economic fallout of losing assets so late in life, and the consequences are usually more dire for women. 

We talk to a researcher about these trends. Plus, we want to hear from you. If you considered or got a divorce over the age of 50, what were the factors you had to consider? How was life after the separation? If you are an adult child of parents who got a “gray divorce,” what was the financial and psychological impact on yourself and your family? 

Call us at 866-893-5722.

Guest:

Susan Brown, professor of sociology and co-director of the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, which has conducted various studies on “gray divorce”  



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