Getting divorced is probably not what you intended to do when you get married yet still you may be facing the prospect of ending your marriage. That may happen for many different reasons. If you are in your 50s, 60s or even older, the Washington Post reports that you are not as alone as you think you may be. What is being called “gray divorce” is actually a growing reality today.

Divorce trends in America have shifted over the years and new information shows that the rate of divorce among people under 25 has dropped while it has increased for older people. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compared divorce rates among different age groups in 1990 with those in 2012. Rates for couples in the 65 and over, 55 to 64, 45 to 54 and 35 to 44 age brackets were all higher in 2012. In fact, the biggest jumps were for people 45 and older.

Other data suggests that many gray divorces are happening in long-lasting marriages. People who have been together for two decades or more are all of a sudden calling it quits. One theory for this is that women especially may be more inclined to expect a lot from marriages once kids are gone. When those expectations are not met, women today have the ability to go it alone where in generations past, they may not have.

You can learn more about gray divorce and the issues facing people who end marriages later in life on the Virginia marital dissolution page of our family law website.