What are Gray Divorces?

Posted On November 19, 2013

The younger generation of newly wedded men and women looked up to their parents for a successful married life until few years ago. The love & affection they shared was an inspiration and their togetherness a blessing. But that era has now passed.

People in their 40s and 50s are open to the idea of divorce – which is now officially termed as a “gray divorce.” This term was coined in 2004 after an increasing trend of older couples heading for divorce was noticed.

The numbers are increasing year by year. Today, 1 in every 4 divorces is a gray divorce and of which more than 60% petitions are filed by women and the remaining by men. The causes for the rise are plenty – financial freedom in women and infidelity in older men are cited as few potential reasons in the research conducted by AARP (American Associate of Retired Persons). However, this report has been disputed.

The Growing Statistics:

Couples from Baby Boomers era are splitting for good. The statistics are shocking. Here’s what the research shows:

Most gray divorces are initiated by women. Talking in terms of the percentage, as mentioned on Wikipedia, it’s 66% by women and the 41% or so by men. The men and women of age group 40-49 contribute to 73% of such divorces, followed by 22% by people of 50-59 yrs, and 4% by people over 60 years of age.

The divorce statistics in the United Kingdom show a rise after gray divorces became common among older couples with young kids.

The Perceived Benefits:

We may find it odd to see people parting ways after decades of married life. But they see it as a life changing experience. There are some perceived benefits that allow the men and women in their 50s to take this step. Few of those benefits are:

Financial independence – Expenses are minimized to half after the divorce. Men or women don’t have to spend all their earnings on the family and can have something for themselves. And also enjoy the social security benefits even after separation (if an application is filed with the Social Security Administration).

Increased life expectancy – The scientific health claims are being debated over its accuracy, but people believe they would be able to live longer when they live alone and stress free. With the kids gone and no bad relationship at home, a divorced person in his/her 50s can be healthy for the years to come.


Divorced couples aren’t willing to give up on life. They are up for a new relationship and a healthy lifestyle but without any thoughts of remarrying.


Christina M. Hernandez is the Director and Owner of Attorney Assisted California Centers in Orange, CA . Attorney Assisted is a leading paralegal service provider in Orange County, preparing and filing all legal documents. Also known as Legal Document Assistants, they are a more affordable alternative than going through lawyers for the same notary services. We also offer full divorce services, handling all divorce papers and guiding clients through the entire process out of court. Join me at Google+.

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