Call or Text For Free Consultation




Gray Divorce: Getting Divorced Later in Life

The Law Offices of Ian S. Mednick, P.C. > Gray Divorce  > Gray Divorce: Getting Divorced Later in Life

Gray Divorce: Getting Divorced Later in Life

gray divorce lawyer in long island

The rate of couples getting a “gray divorce” is rising at a rapid pace. Research published in The Journals of Gerontology shows that more than one in four individuals over the age of 50 in the United States are getting divorced, and over half of these divorces happen after 20 years of marriage. Additionally, data released by Pew Research reveals that divorce rate for people over the age of 50 has doubled between 1990 and 2015.

Understanding Gray Divorce

“Gray divorce,” also known as a “diamond divorce” and “silver splitter,” refers to a divorce between two people in their 50s or older. The phenomenon has been prevalent in the U.S. since the 1980s. However, it was only in 2004 that the term “gray divorce” entered widespread use.

There are various reasons why couples split during their golden years, but here are some of the most common ones based on research:

Drifting Apart

Jocely Rowley, author of “Gray Divorce: What We Lose and Gain from Mid-life Splits,” cites growing apart as one of the primary reasons for ending a marriage. When asked why they untied the knot, couples typically responded with “it wasn’t working out” or “we just grew apart.” The long years spent together may result in a lack of spark, which in turn may be caused by a myriad of reasons such as not enough quality time or lack of intimacy.         

Financial Pressures

Financial disputes are one of the major triggers for couples getting a gray divorce. Conflicts usually arise when one of the partners serves as the primary or sole wage-earner and therefore makes all the money decisions. In other cases, the divorce is caused by a lack of financial management skills in one partner, which often results in overspending and an increase in debt.

There are also instances wherein a spouse postpones getting a divorce until they reach a level of financial independence. This trend tends to be more prevalent in women primarily responsible for looking after and raising the children.


Sexual attraction is one of the driving forces in a successful marriage. When one partner’s sexual needs are not being met, it typically results in two outcomes—they either dismiss the feeling or look outside their marriage for fulfillment. If it’s the latter, the relationship is most likely headed for divorce.

Longer Life Expectancy Rates

Another possible reason for the increase in the gray divorce rate is the better health and longer life expectancy enjoyed by older adults. Married individuals aged 50 or older have many more years to look forward to. They may want to spend that time with someone they are more physically, emotionally, and mentally compatible with than their current spouses.

The Brighter Side of Ending a Marriage

Whether at a young age or later in life, divorce is never easy due to its emotional and financial implications. For unhappily married individuals, however, parting ways with their long-time partner is a positive outcome.

No matter your reason for filing a gray divorce, The Law Office of Ian S. Mednick, P.C. is on your side. We’ll provide you with the compassionate legal advice and diligent representation while giving your family the respect and privacy it needs.

Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation