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Grey Divorce A Growing Trend Among Baby Boomers

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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NEW YORK (CBS) – There is a growing trend among Baby Boomers – divorcing after many years of marriage.

Some call it “Grey Divorce.”

Debbie Jenkins thought she’d be married forever, but it wasn’t meant to be.

“I had my family, my children to help me through it,” Jenkins said.

The 52-year-old mother divorced her husband after two decades of marriage.

“Emotionally, physically we just couldn’t relate to each other anymore,” Jenkins said.

Thaddea Kuchera did it too and ended her marriage last year.

“I decided to take the risk on myself and take a chance on myself to see what could I do on my own?” Kuchera said.

These women have plenty of company.

Since 1990, the divorce rate has doubled to 1 in 4 for couples over age 50.

Researchers found after age 40, it’s often the wife who wants the divorce.

“People are no longer willing to compromise to live an unhappy life just for the sake of a marriage,” divorce attorney Bari Weinberger said.

Weinberger said longevity is a key factor.

“We are all living longer. spending four decades, five decades, six decades with the same person is becoming more difficult for people,” Weinberger said.

Rachel Sussman counsels couples and said there are other reasons.

“Women in 40s, 50s and 60s feel very youthful. If you’re in a marriage where your needs aren’t being met, we have choices today. We can leave,” Sussman said.

Researchers found this generation of women has more financial independence and Baby Boomers put an emphasis on individual happiness.

Financial advisor Jeff Landers said splitting up later can be complicated.

“Retirement issues become very, very critically important because people in their 50s and early 60s retirement is right around the corner. If you’re in your 30s and you get a divorce, you have a lot more time to make up for a mistake,” Landers said

“Grey Divorce” was documented in the United States as early as the 1980s, but wasn’t labeled as such until around 2004 after a study conducted by AARP.

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