Understanding "Gray Divorce"
Updated: Apr 13
Over the past couple of decades, gray divorce has become one of the most prevalent trends in the country. And if you and your spouse are thinking about obtaining a Florida divorce after 20+ years of marriage and at least one of you is over the age of 50, you fit precisely into the gray divorce phenomenon.
Statistics bear out not only the ever-increasing number of gray divorces but also some sad facts about the state of long-term marriages today as follows:
A full 25% of today’s divorces nationwide fall into the gray divorce category.
This percentage has risen from 10% in 1990.
More than 50% of today’s gray divorces represent the breakup of marriages that have lasted for 20 years or more.
The gray divorce rate continues to rise despite the fact that the divorce rate in America has decreased overall.
Reasons For Gray Divorce
Sociologists studying the gray divorce phenomenon attribute it mainly to the following four reasons:
Divorce no longer carries the stigma, moral or social, that it once did.
Married individuals and couples possess considerably higher expectations of marital bliss than people once did, including higher expectations of mutual compatibility, continuing love, etc.
As life expectancies have continued to increase, fewer people, especially those who married young, are willing to settle for what they see as spending decades in an unsatisfying marriage.
The advent of technology, especially online dating sites, has given those dissatisfied with their marriage an increased hope that they can end it and find someone more satisfactory with whom to spend the rest of their lives.
Gray Divorce Issues
Gray divorces differ from younger divorces in many respects. For one thing, you likely will not face the child custody, support and visitation issues that younger divorcing couples face because your children are already grown. Conversely, you likely will face greater property settlement issues since in all likelihood you and your spouse have considerably more accumulated assets than younger couples do. In addition, the older you and your spouse are, the more important the values and division of your respective IRAs, pension plans and retirement plans become.