70s Are the New 50s: How Grey Divorce Differs from a Typical Divorce

Gray Divorce
American Bar Association
March 09, 2022

70s Are the New 50s: How Grey Divorce Differs from a Typical Divorce

Scott Levin, Esq. and Patricia C. Van Haren
Grey Divorce is the term referring to the rising rate in older adults, typically from long-lasting marriages, getting divorced. In California, grey divorce is on the rise as it is throughout the country. The term was coined as research showed the phenomenon of the overall divorce rate going down while the “grey-haired” demographic’s rate of late-in-life divorce was on the rise. The 50+ crowd currently makes up a quarter of all divorces and 1 in 10 is 65+.

Why are so many Baby Boomers getting divorced?

There are a few reasons that researchers have found explaining the data of the increase in Grey Divorce. The first being that the couples who are typically married more than 20 years have simply grown apart and the stigma of divorce no longer exists as it did for their own parents’ generation. This typically happens after the couple becomes empty nesters and realizes that raising children was what was keeping them together. The second is that due to a longer life expectancy, these couples are finding themselves in their 50s and 60s, unhappy, and with 20 to even 40 more years left to live — and they want to do it their way. Finally, some couples report “losing the spark” while others say that who they were when they got married just isn’t who they are anymore. Many comment that they refuse to be complacent and want to find what makes them happy for their remaining years.

The reasons may differ but what is similar is that Grey Divorce is not the same as a typical divorce. Most Grey Divorce clients are retired, near retirement, or have reasons why they aren’t yet retired. Most Grey Divorce clients have grown children and even grandchildren. And most Grey Divorces will have a complicated division of assets due to the length of the marriage as well as the stereotypical generational roles of the husband as provider and the wife as homemaker.

To read the full article and learn about the topics listed below, click here.

Mediating a Grey Divorce

This all sounds overwhelming because it is. It’s a huge change! But you don’t need to have all the answers, you simply need to be educated. Hiring a mediator for a grey divorce will be the fastest and most cost-effective way to handle the process. There is no need to drag out a grey divorce in family court, litigating issues between a couple that has shared a life for many decades. Though it is going to be an emotional journey as you separate a life together, the technical aspects can make it easier, especially with mediation. Gather your paperwork, get organized, and your Grey Divorce can be processed so you can start your new life with dignity.

If you are considering divorce, contact mediator Scott Levin today to learn more about mediation services.

Reprinted from American Bar Association.