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What is “grey divorce” and why is it on the increase?

When you think of people in North Carolina who are ending their marriages, maybe you tend to think of younger individuals. Perhaps they are going their separate ways because they simply grew apart over time, don’t share the same basic values, disagree about child rearing, dislike each other’s families and friends, or encountered other thorny issues they could not resolve.

But plenty of people over 50 are also divorcing these days, to the extent that the term “grey divorce” has been coined to describe this trend (grey refers to some people’s hair color in later life). Forbes Magazine defines it as “the split or separation of older couples who have been married for a long time.” The magazine goes on to say that “the divorce rate of people over 50 is on the rise.”

What are a few of the reasons driving this phenomenon? It’s not always because one partner suddenly gets an overwhelming case of wanderlust or decides to binge on a slew of splashy, impractical things like exotic sports cars. The actual reasons for a lot of grey divorces are usually a bit more down-to-earth.

Why are there more “grey divorces”?

·      When there is a significant imbalance in financial decision-making between a husband and wife or household money issues aren’t being dealt with responsibly, a divorce is often the result.

·      “Empty nest syndrome” occurs when a couple’s children have grown up and left the family home. If the only glue that held a faltering marriage together was bringing up the kids, their departure often is a precursor to their parents’ divorce.

·      Older spouses may stray outside the marriage with younger romantic partners.

·      People are generally living longer, healthier lives. If they are unhappy in their marriages, they may feel they might have many good years ahead with someone else.

·      One spouse’s addiction can tear a couple apart in later life.

Divorce is a complicated process, regardless of whether you are young or at a more advanced stage of your life. Getting advice from a qualified attorney can help with your legal questions.