A gray divorce is a divorce that happens late in life, usually around retirement age. This is the point where many people assume they’ve “made it” and that the marriage will last, but this type of divorce is actually on the rise. Since 1990, for instance, the rate of gray divorce has doubled.

Many people assume that life changes and transitions are the biggest reasons that this happens. The kids move out and two adults who have been unhappy for decades finally admit it to each other. People have different financial ideas about retirement and split up to pursue their own dreams. These types of things.

They do matter, and they do play a role, but they’re not the biggest contributing factor, according to some studies. Instead, the largest indicator is simply whether the person has gotten divorced in the past.

After all, many people who split up at 60 years old have not been married since they were 20. They got married when they were young, got divorced and then remarried. This gray divorce with the second spouse is actually their second divorce.

That’s a big reason why the divorce rate is so high for this age group. These individuals have already shown by past actions that divorce is both possible and a serious consideration for them. They’re open to it. If they split up once, they are more likely to split up again, regardless of their age.

The key here is to remember that divorce can happen to any couple, at any age. If you and your spouse decide to call things off, you need to know what legal steps to take.