Utilize a Tampa Divorce Attorney
Are you over the age of 40? Have you been married for 10, 20, even 30 years or more? If either of these describes you and you and your spouse are divorcing, you fall into a category known as gray divorce. The gray divorce phenomenon is recent, with the average age of divorcing couples higher than it has ever been. In fact, Americans over the age of 50 are twice more likely to get divorced now than those in the same age group were in the 1990s.
Whether you have made the decision to separate or your spouse served you divorce papers, Givens Givens Sparks is here to walk you through your "gray divorce."
Causes of Gray Divorce
What initiated the gray divorce phenomenon? Opinions differ. Some suggest that baby boomers are simply living longer lives, causing them to reach 50 and realize they simply don't want to spend another 20-40 years with their spouse. Others believe that the rise of women in the workforce has caused women to be more financially independent, not relying on their spouses for an income and benefits.
Suggested causes for gray divorce include –
- Longer lifespans
- Women in the workforce
- Empty nest syndrome/growing apart after children are gone
- Divorce rates overall are on the rise
- Higher expectations of marriage than in previous generations
Effects of Gray Divorce
Couples who divorce later in life face different obstacles than younger divorcing couples do. Perhaps the biggest effect is financial. Couples who divorce later in life have had more time to accumulate wealth and substantial retirement plans. What was once a robust savings and 401(k) could be left in shambles after marital property is divided. Another effect is social/emotional. Couples who have been married longer have had more time to establish relationships as a couple, making it confusing for them individually to find support resources. It could also estrange older children and even grandchildren.
Gray Divorce Statistics
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP®) compiled the data on gray divorce rates in the United States and found the following –
- Women were more likely to initiate divorce than men
- Only about 15% of people said they made the decision to divorce together with their spouse
- The majority of people who seek gray divorce are between the ages of 40-49
- 22% of divorcing individuals participating in the survey were in their 50s
Divorcing later in life and after decades of marriage can be extremely difficult emotionally and financially. Givens Givens Sparks respects the sensitive nature of these cases and wants to help. If you are seeking gray divorce or have been served divorce papers, contact a Tampa divorce lawyer at our firm today for legal counsel you can rely on during this difficult time.