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Why is the Trend of “Grey Divorce” on the Rise?

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You may not be familiar with the phrase “grey divorce,” but you’re probably aware of the trend behind the term. The Pew Research Center says that rate of divorce among U.S. adults over the age of 50 has more than doubled since the 1990s, and there are a lot of reasons why it’s happening.

Grey divorces are on the rise for a number of reasons. One of the most frequently cited is the general improvement in the quality of life that medical technology and knowledge has provided to older adults. Where people in their 50s had previously anticipated a decline and need for care, that same age group now sees themselves having decades of high-quality time ahead of them, and they don’t want to share with somebody with whom they’ve fallen out of love.

In addition, divorce has lost much of the stigma that it had thirty years ago. Where people’s faith leaders once preached against dissolving the family unit and society spurned divorced adults, that is no longer the case. And couples who have a better understanding of equitable distribution now feel more confident that they will be financially stable – though this is not necessarily true. The Pew report states that “grey divorcees tend to be less financially secure than married and widowed adults, particularly among women. And living alone at older ages can be detrimental to one’s financial comfort, and for men, their satisfaction with their social lives.”

People who are considering grey divorce need to take several important factors into consideration. With retirement in clear sight, financial plans and assets that have been in place for decades need to be addressed fairly, particularly if one partner – usually the woman – has not contributed as much either due to lower earning or having taken off time to raise the family or care for elderly parents. The situation can be further complicated if either or both spouses have divorced in the past, which is something that is far more likely – the Pew report says that grey divorce is more likely among those who have been married multiple times or for fewer years.

If you are fifty or over and you’re considering ending your marriage, you need to go into the process with eyes wide open and a good understanding of what the process entails. To speak to one of our compassionate attorneys, contact our office today to set up an appointment.