The number of couples who are older and decide to divorce is increasing, but their divorce rate is still lower than that of younger couples. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that the gray divorce rate has doubled since the 1990s. Gray divorces are those that involve a married couple who are at least 50 years old.
As of 1990, for every 1,000 married couples at or over the age of 50, five sought to end their marriage. In 2015, that number rose to 10 out of every 1,000 married couples. The divorce rate for individuals at or over the age of 65 increased even more drastically in this time frame. Between 1990 and 2015, the divorce rate for couples who were at least 65 went from about two couples per 1,000 to six per 1,000.
While divorces among older individuals has increased sharply, the divorce rate for younger individuals is still greater, and this is in spite of the fact that the divorce rate has fallen slightly for many in the under-50 age group. Likely due to the fact that people are putting off marriage until they are older, the divorce rate for couples between the ages of 25 and 39 fell by about 20 percent between 1990 and 2015.
One thing that couples of all ages should consider when they end their marriage is to go through mediation. When a divorce is litigated, matters are decided by a judge based on legal guidelines. However, this may not always provide the best outcome for a divorcing couple. In mediation, a neutral third party tries to get the estranged spouses to reach an accord on their own.