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Mar 26, 2015

What is a Gray Divorce and Does it Apply to You?

Mar 26, 2015 - Family Law by |

Have you heard of the term “gray divorce”? Do you know what it means, and whether or not it applies to you? Let’s take a moment to clarify the term and why it’s becoming so widely used in culture today across the United States.

Gray divorce is a generic term which typically is used to reference couples over the age of 50, and most likely with a long-term marriage, getting divorced. The divorce rates here are skyrocketing, which is very interesting to consider, particularly in comparison to the overall divorce rate in the United States, which at 3.4 per 1,000 people, is at an all-time low.

Gray divorce seemed to swirl around the media discussion in 2014, but the term isn’t brand new. Many interesting articles explore gray divorce, its statistics, the reasons behind it, and the aftermath. For instance, this article in The Washington Post does an excellent job showcasing statistical trends while exploring what it all actually means.

So what does the data show?

  • The divorce rate for those over the age of 50 has doubled since 1990.
  • The divorce rate for those over the age of 65 has more than doubled.
  • One out of every four people going through a divorce in the United States is 50 years old or older.
  • One out of every 10 people going through a divorce in the United States is 65 years old or older.
  • More than half of gray divorces are couples in their 1st marriages
  • 55% of gray divorces include couples married for 20 years or longer
  • The divorce rate for individuals aged 55-64 is more than 11%; and those 65+ is now over 6%

What explains the trend? For one thing, people are living longer. This changes expectations for what life after the age of 50 or 65 should look like. People also have changed their standards for what a healthy, happy marriage should be, even at an older age. Questions of financial independence, and the changing role of women in regards to that as well as within the social discussion overall also factor in.

The most important thing to realize, of course, is that you’re never a statistic. You’re not a trend. You simply have to make decisions for your own welfare and best interests.

Regardless of your age or where you are in life, if you’re headed towards a potential divorce, it’s time to find an experienced divorce attorney to protect you. Call the Law Offices of Brandon Bernstein at 240.395.1418 to schedule a consultation today.


The information and materials on this blog are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. Read our full disclosure here.