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What Is “Grey Divorce” and What Considerations Should I Take Into Account If I’m Divorcing Later In Life?


The “grey divorce” is on the rise, and by that term, we mean the separation and dissolution of marriage that occurs between older couples; usually after the age of 50.  According to statistics, just over the past quarter-century, the divorce rate among adults 50 and older has increased by 109 percent. Even while the overall rate of divorce is declining, grey divorces are heavily on the rise, likely due to the factors we discuss below.

Factors Older Couples Cite as Reasons behind Divorce

Just over the past quarter-century, the divorce rate among adults 50 and older has increased by 109 percent.

The following factors are what we most frequently see amongst our older clients seeking a divorce:

  • Financial disagreements;
  • Growing apart for a while; waiting for their children to leave home; “empty nest syndrome”;
  • Infidelity;
  • Decrease in stigma surrounding both divorce and infidelity;
  • Increasing financial independence of women;
  • The development of dating websites;
  • Increasing life expectancy and better health care improving physical and emotional lives, becoming more widely available to single/unmarried individuals—more time to discover what makes you happy; and
  • Addiction issues.

What the Latest Research Indicates Regarding Effects on Older Children

One of the most important things to realize is that, just because your children have reached 18 and left home, does not mean that divorce will not affect them. In fact, according to the latest research, divorce affects children age seven and older the most. This can actually be especially hard for children who are also trying to adjust to their first year of living away from home, in the college dorm, or just living outside the home, etc.

Managing Assets & Wealth for Late-In-Life Divorce

Another very important factor you need to take into account and work with an experienced attorney on is how to manage assets and wealth accumulation if you are seeking a grey divorce, as adults tend to have more of these later in life, and more of these assets were likely accrued during the marriage. In states like Florida that follow equitable distribution, this matters, as partners share all marital assets and debts accrued during the marriage according to what is “fair.” This not only includes money, bank accounts, and property, but also brokerage accounts, life insurance policies, investments, retirement benefits, pension plans, Social Security benefits, etc.

One of the most important assets we counsel our clients on has to do with whether or not to hold onto the marital home. While a number of clients will often feel inclined to hold onto the home (for sentimental or other reasons), this is a major decision that needs to be thoroughly discussed with your attorney, as you must first figure out if keeping it is even financially feasible for one person.

Contact Our Florida Divorce Attorneys to Find Out More

Ensure that you and your family are protected by working with the best divorce attorneys in Florida. Contact our divorce attorneys at Greater Orlando Family Law today to find out more about our services.


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