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Recent Years Bring a Boom in Gray Divorce

By Leslie Fineberg on May 28, 2013

The recent high-profile divorces of Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger and Al and Tipper Gore may have been part of a trend – a boom in gray divorce. As reported in The Los Angeles Times, baby boomers are at it again. They were responsible for the increase in the rate of divorce that started during the 1970s and increased during the 1980s. In our parents’ generation, divorce was rare among seniors. In fact, as recently as 1990, less than 10 percent of those getting a divorce were age 50 or older. Today, 25 percent of people in this age group are filing for divorce.

How has the meaning of marriage changed to produce such an increase in the number of gray divorces? Today, different factors affect marriage and the outlook of husbands and wives.

  • We live in a time of individualized marriages.
  • Married couples have higher expectations of what marriage is supposed to provide.
  • Couples expect personal satisfaction and fulfillment.
  • Couples expect financial security and emotional stability.
  • Roles are no longer traditional — no longer are the wage-earner/homemaker roles the standard.
  • Married couples expect open communication with one another.
  • Both husband and wife must juggle work responsibilities with raising children.
  • Both husband and wife expect to remain best friends.

Baby boomers are often involved in remarriages that carry their own relationship challenges. For those seniors who are in good health and who are financially secure, divorce may have few negative effects and might even be able to empower former spouses.

The knowledgeable family law attorneys in Chicago at the law firm of Nottage and Ward understand that a divorce can be an emotionally charged process at any age. Finances must be protected, and business relationships must be taken into consideration. If you are a senior contemplating a divorce, our family law attorneys have more than 20 years of experience and can help. Please call (312) 332-2915. We can help you through a complex, emotional time in your life.

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