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What is a gray divorce?

On Behalf of | May 10, 2024 | Divorce

Many Colorado spouses are currently struggling to keep their marriages afloat. In some cases, there have been problems for years. In others, a recent event (like an affair) has caused a sudden and devastating breakdown in the relationship. Surprisingly, many of the people who are filing for divorce these days are aged 55 and older.

Late-in-life divorce has become so common in the United States that many use the term “gray divorce” to describe the trend. Divorce rates in the over 55 age group have more than doubled in the past 20 years. Many of the spouses filing for divorce later in life say they stuck it out when their kids were growing up but have since determined that they’d rather spend the rest of their years without their spouse than remain in an unhappy marriage.

What are the most common reasons for gray divorce?

When asked what compelled them to file for divorce in their late 50s, 60s or older, many people have cited the reasons shown in the following list:

  • Divorce stigma that existed long ago is no longer an issue
  • Disputes over money
  • Extramarital affairs
  • Spouses drifted apart and no longer have anything in common

These are just a few of many examples of why baby boomers (as well as their older peers) are filing for divorce at an alarming rate.

Divorcing later in life has complex implications

You might think it would be easier for your adult children to learn that their parents are getting a divorce than it might have been if they were younger. However, data shows that many adult children experience severe emotional distress when their parents inform them that they are splitting up. A gray divorce might be difficult regarding financial issues, as well. An older couple might have retirement accounts, insurance policies and other financial matters to resolve to achieve a fair settlement.

It is important to protect your interests in a gray divorce. Sadly, many older people who end marriages late-in-life wind up facing serious financial problems. You might be able to avoid this by seeking experienced guidance before heading to court. It’s a good idea to review Colorado property division laws ahead of time so that you know what you’re entitled to. It’s also best not to sign any agreements unless you fully understand their contents. If you have questions, always seek answers rather than assuming everything will work out. Guidance is the key to success.