Navigating Your Grey Divorce with Dignity

Baby Boomer divorce rates continue to be above the average with one in every four divorces occurring in this age group. When I first wrote about so-called “grey divorce” (also referred to as ‘gray divorce’) in 2012, the overall divorce rate was going down, while the rate of divorce for people born between 1946 and 1964 already had a divorce rate triple that of their parents.

In 2019, those statistics are holding true. Grey divorce is a divorce that occurs after the age of 50. While the divorce rate across all age groups holds steady, the number of 50+ aged grey divorces in the United States has recently dramatically increased and today 1 in 4 people are going through grey divorce.

Grey divorce expert Jocelyn Elise Crowley states,

the motivations behind those seeking a grey divorce do not have a lot to do with couples simply wanting to spread their wings because they are no longer fulfilled, or ‘hippies gone wild’. Instead, this mid-life population takes splitting up very seriously…”

Older adults who are divorcing need to be aware that there are alternatives to traditional court divorces. These divorcing couples have full, multi-layered lives that need to be protected, even if their marriage ends.  Many have adult children and grandchildren, a portfolio of assets that include real estate, different investments, and retirement accounts, and positions of respect in their community and workplace. Divorcing with dignity and maintaining their privacy is important because they know that how they divorce will have an impact on more than just the two of them.

In our mediation and family law practice, we help couples going through divorce avoid the public spectacle and expense of a traditional, litigated divorce. This is particularly important in cases of grey divorce. Collaborative divorce and divorce mediation are more sensible processes for older adults who are ending their marriages.

These couples often look at their marriage without regret and want to end their marriage in as amicable a way as possible:

  • They want to respect the person they were married to.
  • They want to be able to jointly attend and celebrate family events and gatherings.
  • They want to ensure their financial security.
  • They want to contain costs associated with the divorce.
  • They want to maintain their privacy and don’t want to air their ‘dirty laundry’ in public.

Baby boomers want to divorce with dignity. By keeping their divorces out of court and using processes such as mediation and collaborative divorce, they can navigate their divorce in a way that respects the life they built together and allows them to each move forward with as much emotional and financial security as possible.

Later-in-life divorce can be challenging. A collaborative divorce or mediation team approach makes financial sense and is the best way to negotiate an amicable divorce that preserves your dignity. If you would like to discuss how to end your marriage in a non-adversarial way without litigation, contact Vacca Law & Mediation.