The Rise of Gray Divorce

Posted on June 23rd, 2020

We know that since a global health pandemic has ravaged the nation, divorce rates have been on the rise. But did you know that over the last year, gray divorces have increased? Some say that Al and Tipper Gore became the poster children of gray divorce, but what causes more couples to say “I don’t” later in life?

The Rise of Gray Divorce in the United States

After the Gore’s decided to call it quits after 40 years of marriage and four children, they soon became the textbook definition of gray divorce. Why? 

Neither individual claims wrongdoing occurred in the marriage but rather, they had grown apart. Many individuals began to rethink the storybook romances they saw, wondering if complacency in marriage later in life was not how it actually should be.

There are a variety of reasons gray divorce has picked up in the last 25 years. The first has to do with the stigma of separation.

The Catholic Church began to reevaluate the status of divorce. Pope Francis attended conferences in 2015 to see how divorced Catholics can find their home in their church once again, without feeling ostracized.

In addition to the religious ramifications changing, financial circumstances have also evolved. While once women were dependent on their husbands for financial stability, now, more women are making their own financial decisions to ensure they are prepared for any life event.

Due to these societal stigmas and the fear of poverty, women often felt they couldn’t leave bad, empty, or loveless marriages. But now, women over 50 have options.

Financial Security

Women are working and working much later in life, too. However, we also know women tend to earn less than men, which may make gray divorce seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be.

In long-term marriages, alimony is often granted to the spouse who has a lesser earning potential or who has not been able to pursue a career due to child-rearing. The general rule of thumb is for every three years of marriage, one year of alimony is granted. 

If you’ve been in a marriage for 40 or more years, you may be looking at a minimum, 13 years of support payments.

In addition, retirement and pension may be split up for each of you to live off of. However, meeting with an attorney who can guide you on taxation is wise.

Finally, your family home will likely become an asset to be divided. If your children are all grown and out of the family home, you may be considering downsizing. Utilizing the assets of the family home may be beneficial to you and your ex to starting anew.

Gray Divorce: Kalinoski Law Offices P.C.

Divorce can be complicated, no matter your age or how long you’ve been married. However, undergoing a gray divorce does not have to be a burden or something to be ashamed of. It’s a chance for you to live out your golden years the way you want to.

Kalinoski Law Offices P.C. is here to help you in your NEPA gray divorce. Contact the Scranton family law attorney, Craig Kalinoski, today for a free consultation.

Category: Divorce

Share this Post
Craig Kalinoski
Craig Kalinoski

Craig P. Kalinoski is a respected attorney serving clients in Scranton, Pennsylvania. With a focus on Family Law, Criminal Defense, and Civil Rights, he has established himself as a top-rated legal professional. Recognized as a Rising Star and admired by peers, Craig's commitment to excellence sets him apart in the legal field.


We fight for the rights of our clients in a wide spectrum of practice areas, ranging from criminal defense to family law and personal injury.

Back to Top