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Why are Divorces Over 40 Becoming More Common?

Posted on June 1st, 2023

Rise Of Divorces Among Couples Over 40

Divorces among couples over 40 are soaring. What was once an uncommon occurrence is now prevalent, leaving many wondering why this is the case. What is spurring the rise in marital dissolutions after decades of togetherness? This article explores the factors reshaping the dynamics of marriages among individuals over 40, shedding light on the underlying causes driving the rise in divorces within this age bracket.

  • Remarriage and Relationship History

Divorce over 40The higher prevalence of remarriage is one of the significant factors attributed to the rise of divorces among couples over 40. The Census Bureau indicates that individuals who have been previously married are more prone to divorce. Second marriages have been found to have a higher divorce rate, given the challenges of blending families, finances, and conflicting priorities.  Furthermore, individuals who have experienced divorce once may feel much pressure to make their new relationship work and may seek divorce if their current marriage feels unfulfilling.

  • Marrying Too Young

Marrying young also contributes to the surge in divorces among couples over 40. Many people who married young may have done so due to pressure from their families, without even understanding the long-term compatibility with their partners. However, as they mature, they may realize their values, goals, and interests are no longer similar. This can lead to growing unhappiness and unfulfillment in the marriage, eventually resulting in pursuing a divorce.

  • Increased Life Expectancy

Nowadays, people are living healthier lives, meaning they may have several decades ahead of them after hitting 40. As individuals grow older, they become more aware of their desires and aspirations, which may prompt them to reevaluate their relationships. For example, if a 45-year-old individual feels unhappy or unfulfilled in their marriage, they may wonder if they want to spend another 40 years in their unloving marriage. As a result, they may initiate divorce to do what makes them happy in their remaining years.

  • Empty Nest Syndrome

Empty nest syndrome, the loss and loneliness experienced by parents whose children have left home and are living their own lives, is another reason for divorces over 40. Once children become independent adults, many spouses realize they lack common goals and interests and are only staying together to raise their children.

The absence of children can magnify underlying issues within marriage as the focus shifts from parenting to the couple’s relationship. Some couples find it challenging to adapt to this new phase of life and may realize that they have grown apart over the years leading to the decision to pursue different paths and seek personal fulfillment in their new phase.

  • Decreased Social Stigma for Divorce and Separation

The social stigma associated with divorce has decreased over the years. As divorce is no longer viewed as a failure or cause for shame, married couples feel motivated to pursue personal happiness and fulfillment, even if it means ending their marriage. The reduced social stigma provides a supportive environment for divorced individuals, making it easier to navigate the emotional aspects of divorce.

  • No Longer Satisfying Marriages

Another significant factor contributing to the rise in divorces over 40 is the loss of satisfaction or connection within marriages. Over time, couples may find that their relationship lacks the spark or intimacy it once had. With longer life expectancy and a desire to pursue their own goals, individuals may choose to prioritize their happiness by ending their marriages if they no longer find them satisfying or fulfilling.

  • Changing of Status of Women

The empowerment and liberation of women have also played a significant role in the rising divorce rate of individuals over 40 years. Unlike in the 1990s, women today are more likely to pursue education, careers, and personal goals, which can lead to the reassessment of their relationships. Women initiate 69% of divorces after the age of 40, as per American Sociological Association (ASA). This does not mean men are not disenchanted, too. It is just that women are taking the decisive step to end their marriage and find someone else or to be on their own.

  • Financial Independence

Many individuals over 40 have achieved a certain level of financial stability, meaning they have more financial independence and, therefore, are less reliant on their spouses. This increased financial autonomy gives individuals the means and confidence to leave unfulfilling or unhappy marriages as they are no longer trapped in relationships solely for financial security.

Contact Our Experienced Los Angeles Divorce Attorneys Today

If you are considering a divorce in California, we can help guide you through this challenging time. Contact the experienced Los Angeles divorce attorneys at the Harris Family Law Group today at 310-745-8644. We will provide a personalized approach to your unique situation to ensure a smooth transition into the next phase of your life.