After walking down the aisle on your wedding day, and saying ‘I Do’ to a lifetime with your partner, the last thing you think about is whether or not your relationship will one day come to an end. But, in the United States alone, about 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in divorce.
Whether you’re newly in a relationship or have been with your partner for what already feels like a lifetime, you might be curious at what point in people’s lives does the idea of divorce flash through their heads and potentially become a reality.
According to Jonathan Fields, a divorce litigator, the most popular age for people to put an end to their marriage is in their mid-to-late 40s.
“That’s the age that coincides with the youngest child usually going off to college,” Fields says. “The empty nest can be a difficult period for these folks — many of whom must now reckon with a new relationship with their partner without the kids as a focus.”
Kids have a lot to do with how a relationship ages and changes. Family Law Attorney, Jacqueline Newman, says that even if you have a good marriage, couples spent their 20s and 30s until around 50 raising kids, so that’s what keeps their relationship breathing.
“So, while they may not have much in common — they have the children and the children serve as fodder for conversation. But what happens when little Suzy is the last to leave the nest?” says Newman. “Then the husband and wife sit down at the kitchen table and, for the first time in 20 years, it could be just the two of them. And then they realize that they have nothing to talk about and have completely grown apart.
Newman also suggests that there are some other things happening during this time that can make for the perfect divorce equation.
“This is a time in a couple’s lives when their career may be in full swing and they are working toward retirement, which can cause extra stress on the relationship,” says Newman. “Plus, if one spouse dedicated himself or herself to the children, that person may now be restless with no kids around. All of these factors combined, can lead to a person coming into my office for a divorce.”