Gray Divorces on the Rise in Florida

- Gary E. Williams

You’ve never heard of gray divorce? That’s probably because it is a relatively new phenomenon. It’s happening more often, especially in states like Florida with large retirement-aged populations. Baby boomers are leading the way in filing for divorce in their later years.

According to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research (NCFMR) at Bowling Green State University, the divorce rate for the general population has remained fairly stable over the last 20 years. However, among those ages 55-64, the risk of divorce has more than doubled (5 to 11 per 1,000). For those 65 and older, the rate of divorce has nearly tripled (2 to 5 per 1,000).

What’s behind this trend? Researchers cite a number of possible causes:

  • As the traditional roles of spouses have changed with more women working and contributing to the family finances, our societal view of marriage has also changed. The new model requires greater flexibility and open communication and some may not be able to cope.
  • Divorce is not new to people in this age group. Many ended bad relationships before, so doing it again is less daunting and a viable option for them.
  • Major life changes such as retirement can cause people to reassess where they are in life and what they want to do. Perhaps these couples don’t see the future the same way.
  • Living longer also contributes to the rise in divorce for older couples. If you’re not happy when you’re 60, why face the possibility of spending another 20 years with that person?

If you are contemplating a divorce, call an experienced divorce attorney to help guide you through this emotional process. He or she can be your confidante and support you all the way to a successful conclusion. Contact us at (727) 531-8737.