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Considerations in a Grey Divorce

Considerations in a Grey Divorce

While longevity may be a sign of a healthy relationship, a marriage can begin to fall apart after any amount of time. In fact, the dissolution of marriage between spouses aged 50 and older, known as “grey divorce” may be on the rise. One study out of Bowling Green State University in Ohio concluded that the divorce rate among Americans 50 and older doubled between 1990 and 2010. While a “grey” divorce may sound melancholy, it can often be the best path forward for many spouses who are looking to begin the next chapter in their lives. If you would like more information on this topic, please visit Arizona Family Law Attorneys online at

Grey Divorces on the Rise

As couples age together, their circumstances and preferences can change substantially. After the kids have left the nest and retirement waits over the horizon, what they find appealing in life and in a partner may change as well. While the researchers out of Bowling Green State University only looked at the raw data, there are several reasons why the U.S. may be seeing increases in grey divorcing. On one hand, social stigmas that have traditionally surrounded divorce may be beginning to fall away in the United States. Additionally, the average life expectancy for both men and women is also on the rise. Longer marriages coupled with the reduction in societal pressure may be allowing a wider range of older couples to explore the possibility of divorce.

Considerations for Grey Divorces

While each divorce will be governed by similar legal mechanisms regardless of age, several areas may require additional attention during a grey divorce. Older spouses may spend decades investing in joint accounts, building assets, and creating memories together that may add value to even the smallest possession. When a divorce occurs, proceedings can often be complex.

  • Spousal maintenance: The terms of spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, can be influenced by numerous factors and when at least one spouse is working, it is a likelihood that is best to plan for. While younger couples typically have short-term agreements designed to help a spouse acclimate to a single income, in grey divorces, agreements may be set for longer periods of time. It is critical to consider the effects of spousal maintenance on post-divorce incomes and budgets.
  • Retirement planning: Financial issues can often be at the center of disputes and between 401Ks, social security, and other investment accounts, mature spouses often have more complex financial assets. After a divorce, the resources from previous retirement plans may simply not be there. When the majority of a divorcee’s earning years are behind them, they must consider what it may take to rebuild adequate financial savings and reevaluate retirement.

If you and your spouse are considering a divorce and would like to learn more about your options, contact Arizona Family Law Attorneys. We understand what you are going through and can help you and your spouse through the legal, social, and financial hurdles which lie ahead. Our legal team focuses exclusively on family law and can provide you with compassionate, effective representation when you need it most.

Visit our Phoenix divorce attorneys online at to request a confidential case evaluation.


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