Over time, gray divorces have been given many names, including “Silver Splitters” and “Diamond Divorcees.” What all these refer to are divorces of those who are 50 or older or those who have been married for between 20 and 30 years.
Gray divorces have their own particular complications, as the people involved in them are not young and have acquired, in many cases, a high number of valuable assets. What they choose to do moving forward in the divorce could significantly impact them for the rest of their lives.
There are a number of reasons why people might divorce at that age, some of which include having children who have moved out of the home, retirement and age.
Here’s an example. If two people raise their children together for 20 or 30 years but don’t spend much time working on their own relationship, they may realize that they have little in common other than their children. That reality could make a divorce a real possibility.
With age, it often comes down to one spouse “acting older” (perhaps less interest in things that the other spouse still loves and needs) or having more health problems, which, in turn, makes the younger or healthier spouse want to find a way out of the relationship. Retirement can spur all of this, as the individuals finally have time to spend on themselves and their relationships.
What should you do if your spouse approaches you about a gray divorce?
Everyone’s situation is going to be different. If you both agree that this is the right thing to do, then it’s possible to have an amicable divorce that helps you move on and find a more suitable relationship (or none, if that’s your preference). If you don’t agree, you can talk about going through marriage counseling or mediation. If either of you wants a divorce and files for it, you have the right to do so, but the other spouse being on board with that decision will make it go much more smoothly.
You and your spouse should do what you can to work together and negotiate when it comes to your assets and relationship moving forward. If divorce is the right choice for you, being able to agree on a settlement is the best possible outcome. Your attorney can help you decide on what would be fair, so that you know what you need to negotiate for in your divorce settlement and how it will affect your future.