Close to 38 million adults live alone in the United States, according to Census data. Within this group, the number of older Americans living alone is also on the rise, with nearly 16 million over age 65 living alone in 2022. Baby Boomers are aging and society has developed a major shift where marriage is concerned, leading to more gray divorce.
Not Just Celebrity Gray Divorce
Research conducted by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University coined the term “gray divorce” about a decade ago. Then, divorce among Boomers was a rarity, now it’s become a phenomenon, common and expected. Researchers state that over a third of those getting divorced now are over age 50.
There are many celebrity divorces in this age bracket, though gray divorce is not only a celeb happening:
- Al Gore and Tipper Gore
- Justin Trudeau and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau
- Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates
- Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver
- Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower
Though divorce rates for the population overall are on the decline, many older adults are choosing to end their unions and move into a new phase of life. The divorce rate is still rising for adults over the age of 65, according to the NIH’s National Library of Medicine.
No Fault Gray Divorce
All Michigan splits are considered no-fault divorces, often very accurate in gray divorces. Couples have raised their children, lived out their career, and grown apart. Time and exhaustion are often at fault and couples are more than ready to start over. Alone.
Though plenty of people would rather be with someone than no one, there are just as many who would rather be alone than with a person they no longer love, care for, respect, or enjoy. Cultural shifts in the last several years, especially politically, have led to a sharp increase in mature couples initiating divorces.
When you look at the life ahead of you and behind you, some people simply feel they don’t have the time to spare with someone they no longer know or even like, let alone love. A new term for this demographic is “silver splitters” – people who are starting fresh, grasping the silver lining, no matter what age they are.
Challenges Faced During Gray Divorce
No divorce is easy or simple, no matter how much a couple knows they should no longer be together. Challenges can include:
- Finances: Splitting a marriage into two creates a challenging financial transition. Not having savings or a full-time career later in life can make divorce even more challenging and many people experience a significant drop in their standard of living.
- Attitudes: Even though people have changing attitudes toward marriage as an institution and divorce no longer has the stigma it once did, couples who split often must remind themselves the choice they made to end their marriage was a healthy one and not for anyone else to judge.
- Loneliness: There are significant health consequences tied to social isolation and loneliness, something compounded in later years, especially after a gray divorce.
Have you reached a point in life where you are considering a gray divorce? Work with the experienced divorce lawyers at Femminineo Attorneys in Macomb. Schedule a consultation today.