According to the results of a study conducted by sociologists at Bowling
Green State University, the notion that couples over 50 must be destined
to stay together forever is simply an ideal, not a reality.
The study determined that between 1990 and 2010, the
divorce rate for married couples over 50 years of age doubled, coining the term
a “grey divorce”. Don’t think that this study only included
people who had been through multiple marriages, either, for a whopping
48% of all grey divorces were only in a first marriage. So what is going
on to cause this dramatic rise?
The purpose of the study was more to get the results -- the raw data, so
to speak -- not necessarily to figure out
why grey divorce has become more popular. The common consensus is, however,
that social stigmas of the past are falling away and Americans are generally
more accepting of ending a marriage if it no longer makes anyone happy.
In decades gone by, the idea of even a young couple calling it quits was
taboo. The idea of a grey divorce? Even more unheard of. Today, the concept
is no longer unimaginable.
A second cause for the spike could be financial stability. The current
generation of 50-somethings are the same group of people who started to
break away from the idea that staying at home to just raise a family was
the only option for whichever spouse made the least money. Instead, both
husbands and wives were more likely to pursue fulfilling careers, complete
with monetary gain. If there was ever any hesitation to divorce in yesteryears
due to fiscal issues, that reluctant has diminished in modern times.
What Grey Divorce Could Mean For You
The term “grey divorce” has a somewhat foreboding ring to it,
making the process sound like something to avoid. However, the only main
difference between divorcing when you’re older compared to divorcing
when you’re younger is your age. All the same methods, legalities,
and procedures of divorce remain the same. But there are a few factors
that should or could cross your mind:
Even if you both think
alimony isn’t an option, the court will probably push for it anyway, simply
due to the length of your marriage.
If you have accrued considerable amount of retirement funds, they are most
likely considered marital property and you could lose half of them in the
equitable distribution process.
- Your children might not be dependents anymore but your grey divorce will
still affect them, so sit down and discuss it as you would with a younger child.
If you live in Florida and have decided that your marriage should come
to an end, or maybe you were handed divorce papers, you can rely on
Tampa Divorce Attorney Catherine Real for legal support and guidance. With more than 35 years of legal experience,
you can depend on her during your grey divorce. Just call (813) 867-7936 to schedule
your initial consultation.