Overall, the divorce rate has gone down considerably over the last 20 years. However, an interesting phenomena has popped up in the meantime: the divorce rate overall has gone down, but the divorce rate for people ages 50 and over has gone up. 
 
There are a myriad of reasons behind this phenomenon. According to Forbes Magazine, persons who get divorced after the age of 50 are having a gray divorce. 
 
Why do gray divorces occur? 
 
While every divorce has a unique story behind it, there are some overarching trends with the above-50 age bracket. Largely, the fact that divorce has become much less stigmatizing over the past 20 years has been encouraging higher divorce rates in the upper age brackets. Divorce has become very much normalized in the younger generations, and this is a trend that is creeping upward. 
 
The reasons for gray divorce are very similar to the reasons for divorce in younger couples: divorcing couples often report problems with issues like addiction, adultery or simply losing the original spark in the relationship. 
 
What challenges are unique to gray divorce? 
 
Getting divorced later in life can cause several issues. Particularly if one member of the marriage stayed home to raise children, this can create serious financial problems. If household tasks were strictly allocated between the spouses, they both might have trouble operating independently after the divorce. 
 
Additionally, having adult children adjusting to divorce can be difficult on its own, even if those children are fully grown and have children of their own. However, while gray divorce can be difficult, staying in an unhappy marriage is even harder.