Well “Gray” seems to be the hot color of late! Some Fashionistas would argue that orange is the hot color this season but for someone like myself, an NJ & PA Divorce/Family Mediator we have been hearing about the new phenomenon of “The Gray Divorce” for a few years.
Even though the overall divorce rate has decreased since 1990, most likely largely due in part to our economy, Gray Divorces (defined as divorces of people of the ages over 50) on the other hand, have doubled during this same time period. These are astounding numbers! Think about the celebrity Gray Divorces like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, Al and Tipper Gore.
When delving into this statistic, one has to wonder about the reasons for this large increase in couples divorcing over the age of 50. Many factors may come in to play. People are living longer so that means more years of being with potentially undesirable partners. Also divorced individuals no longer carry the “scarlet letter” once they are divorced. Our society accepts divorce as a norm now, so people feel more at ease being divorced. Another reason may have to do with the fact that many of these over 50’s have been married more than once and of course the divorce rate is much higher the second time around.
Two thirds of these older divorces are initiated by women. This could be due to the fact that more women are in the work place and therefore feel more confident in divorcing their spouse since they are more financially secure.
Although the “Grey Divorce” may seem very appealing, it also brings some concerns to light. Divorcing later on leaves individuals less time to recoup any financial losses associated with divorcing and sharing of retirement funds. Health Insurance may now be an issue and many other factors.
As with anyone else who is divorcing, it’s always best to weigh all options and if you have truly decided that divorce is indeed in your future, plan and be prepared. Roseann Vanella, Family/Divorce Mediator, Advanced Mediation Solutions, 3804 Church Rd, Mount Laurel, NJ 08048. Additional offices in Philadelphia, PA & Langhorne, PA.