Why “Gray Divorce” Continues To Rise

Serving Families Throughout Palm Beach Gardens

In today’s society, it is not uncommon for couples to divorce after 20+ years of marriage.  Since 2010, over 25% of divorces in the United States have occurred among people age 50 and above. The rise in “gray divorce” has caused many to question why couples separate after being together for so long.  Social scientists argue that elder divorce is a direct reflection of the shifting meaning of marriage in the United States.

  1. Couples Grow Apart – Gray divorce is not typically triggered by a sudden event, but instead is the result of time. Microcracks begin to develop in the relationship and over time the structure of the marriage is forever changed.  People and relationships can grow apart for a wide variety of reasons, including years of wear and tear on a relationship which can lead to couples growing apart and eventually separating.  After the busy years of child-rearing have come and gone, a couple may realize they no longer have much in common. Similarly, a retired couple may see their plans for the future are quite different. One may want to travel the world while the other may prefer being homebound. Most couples who divorce after many years of marriage are not in horrible relationships, just relationships that are no longer satisfying to either party. Hormonal changes in both men and women as they age can also be a cause of relationship incompatibility over time.
  1. Age – Growing older can be a factor that prompts a spouse to seek a divorce.  A large age difference between spouses may not have been an issue at the beginning of the relationship, but years later may become a problem as interests shift and spouses grow apart.
  1. Financial Issues – Over time, financial issues may cause a couple to consider divorce. Compared to the past, women are now more financially independent and are less likely to stay in an unhappy marriage. Differences in spending habits and financial hardships throughout the course of the relationship may cause spouses to question their marriage. If one partner likes to save money and the other is a big spender, issues can arise.  Over the course of time, a married couple may face financial challenges such as a medical crisis or funding a child’s college fund. The way these financial situations are handled can impact a marriage, as debt can cause stress and eventually the breakdown of a relationship.
  • Author
  • Recent Posts
John Schutz

John Schutz

Partner at John F. Schutz, P.L.

Representing clients exclusively in family law cases for the past 24 years, Mr. Schutz is widely regarded as a marital and family law expert. He is Board Certified in marital and family law by The Florida Bar. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), Mr. Schutz is committed to elevating the standards and improving the practice of family law.

John Schutz

Latest posts by John Schutz (see all)

  • Is a Simplified Dissolution of Marriage a Viable Option? - October 29, 2019
  • What are the Types of Alimony in Florida? - October 19, 2019
  • Property Division In Florida - October 8, 2019

Focusing On Your Children In Divorce

We often hear about the courts focusing on the “best[...]

Can My Wife Keep My Last Name?

What’s in a name? The answer to that question may[...]

Divorce Spikes After The Holidays

Around the holidays, family law attorneys see an increase in[...]

Share To: