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Gray divorce: What is it and why is it increasing?

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2021 | Divorce

The divorce rate in the U.S. continues to increase in recent years largely due to the rise in gray divorce. This typically means older adults who choose to get divorced at a later age after several decades of marriage. The term “gray divorce” originated in the 1980s but started being widely circulated around 2004. South Carolina couples facing divorce later in life may encounter more complications than younger couples.

Some reasons behind the rise in gray divorce

Studies show more women than men initiate divorce later on in life compared to men. Some experts state this has been due to women’s increased financial independence. Longer life expectancies can also contribute to the increased rate of gray divorce. More adults are in better health and can support themselves. They’re not as financially dependent on their spouse, which can increase the risk of filing for divorce. The increasing number of baby boomers retiring may also be a factor in the rise in the divorce rate.

Complications in gray divorce

Gray divorces have doubled in recent years, often involving long-term marriages that end later on in life. They can be difficult to navigate because older adults have often accumulated more property and assets throughout the marriage. Couples also have to decide how they plan to divide their retirement, such as selecting new life insurance beneficiaries.

Who can you contact for legal assistance?

If you want to file for a gray divorce, contact a legal professional to navigate the process. A family law attorney may help you work toward a settlement while helping decide how assets and property will be divided between both spouses. Your attorney may also explain your rights if you’re worried about pension benefits and other retirement assets.