What we lose and what we gain in gray divorce

They have spent the decades together since their marriage in their twenties. They raised children, they worked hard to get ahead in their careers and they made their house into a home for their family. They did all of that and much more before they decided in their 50s to divorce.

A new book on gray divorce by a researcher and professor explores and explains the rise in marital splits among couples in their 50s. The book also dives into the bottom lines for the individuals in those divorces: what do they gain and what do they lose when they end their marriages?

The recently published “Gray Divorce: What We Lose and Gain from Mid-Life Splits” is the fourth book by Jocelyn Elise Crowley, Ph.D.

Crowley claims that her analysis of divorce data indicates that women are more affected financially than men who go through mid-life divorce and men are more affected socially.

She says that though the divorce rate overall has stabilized, “the gray divorce rate has risen. In between 1990-2010, the divorce rate for this age group actually doubled. Now, about one out of every four divorces is ‘gray.’”

She says the definition of “gray divorce” is simple: at least one of the people in the divorce is age 50 or above.

Crowley says that her research indicates that generally, men in gray divorces do “not like how things were being ‘done’ in their households,” she said. The men often cited “financial infidelity,” which they describe as their spouse “spending money behind their backs.”

According to Crowley, women in mid-life divorce often cited as reasons for the splits: addictive behaviors involving alcohol, drugs and pornography. Some also complained of “repetitive, severe emotional and verbal abuse” in their marriages.

No matter how you arrive at the decision to end your marriage, your rights and interests in matters such as property division can be protected by a skilled family law attorney.

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