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What is a Grey Divorce and Why Are They on the Rise?

“Grey divorce” refers to divorce among spouses over the age of 50. Although the term was created in the early 2000s, grey divorce has been on the rise since the 1980s and especially increased within the past two decades. Interestingly enough, research has shown that, among younger couples, divorce has actually decreased, which makes this situation even more puzzling.

What is Causing the Rise in Grey Divorce?

After decades of marriage, why would two spouses nearing the age of retirement choose to get a divorce? There are several answers to this question, according to many studies. In recent years, the social stigma surrounding divorce has substantially diminished. Those who were once concerned about appearances now feel comfortable enough to end their marriage without being judged by society. That said, reduced social stigma is not the only reason why grey divorce is on the rise.

Here are some additional reasons that can explain this phenomenon:

  • Growing farther apart: As spouses grow old together, it is expected that both parties will change. Ideally, the more time you spend together, the stronger your bond will grow. For some, the opposite occurs, and they grow apart. It is a particularly common problem among spouses who suffer from empty nest syndrome and discover that, once the kids grow up and move out, they have little in common to keep the marriage going.
  • Sexual incompatibility: It is not uncommon for one’s desire for physical intimacy to decrease with old age. Unfortunately, if this creates sexual incompatibility in the marriage, one spouse might feel unfulfilled and unwilling to remain in a marriage where these needs are not being met.
  • Increased life expectancy: In the past, it might have seemed unreasonable to pursue a new chapter in life at the age of 50 or more. After all, divorce is stressful, takes time, and you never know how many years you have left. However, given the increased life expectancy nowadays, older people are no longer shying away from the prospect of getting another chance of finding happiness in life.
  • The kids are gone: Briefly touched upon in our first point, some couples might have postponed divorce out of concern for their children and chose to wait until after they moved out. Although child custody will not be an issue at this stage, however, it does not mean the divorce will not impact a couple’s adult children.

Obtain Skilled Legal Representation from an Award-Winning Law Firm Today!

Divorce is rarely easy, regardless of age. With the assistance of a skilled legal advocate, however, the process can go a lot more smoothly. At Singleton Smith Law Offices, Inc., our divorce team is committed to helping families during this difficult time. With over two decades of combined legal experience on our side and a history of proven success, you can feel confident that our team will effectively represent you and protect your interests.

Reach out to our law office today at (951) 779-1610 to begin the divorce process. We provide free consultations.