Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth – Late-Stage Divorce
The recent announcement that Al Gore and his wife Tipper (right) are divorcing after more than 40 years of marriage has caused people to take notice of the fact that more seniors seem to be getting divorced now than ever before. Statistics from The Office of National Statistics show that the overall rate of divorce in the United States is dropping within every age group studied except those over-60. Senior divorce is not news to professionals who deal with marriage, separation and divorce though.
Divorce attorneys and relationship counselors are reporting more late-stage divorces among people whose kids have grown up and moved out of the home. The separations typically occur after 30 or 40 years of marriage. Late-stage divorce can be influenced by a variety of factors including longer life spans and feelings about personal fulfillment and happiness.
Longer life expectancy can mean that people have decades of an unhappy marriage stretching out ahead of them and staying in a relationship is not always a good choice. In 1955, life expectancy was about 70 years; today both men and women live nearly two decades longer. The result is an increasing number of 60-year-olds opting for divorce in their golden years.
An American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) study found that the trend mirrors the changing role of senior women who now feel more independent after their children have gone and look for more self-fulfillment by forging a new single identity. It seems the truth is, when people in their 60′s realize that they may have another 30 years of active life ahead of them, late-stage divorce is not an uncommon choice.