Everyone in Wyoming knows what a divorce is, but what is a gray divorce? Gray divorce is a term used to refer to the increasing number of divorces for couples of advanced age. When most people hear of a couple going through a divorce, they often think of young or middle-aged couples, but the age group with the fastest growing divorce rate is that of the 50-year-old or older age group. In fact, divorce rates in this age group have doubled in the past 20 years while divorce rates in other age groups have decreased.
There are several factors that are contributing to the increase in gray divorces. The first is the fact that the population is getting older. As the senior population increases, gray divorce increases. The number of seniors is rising, and it is estimated that the population over 65 will increase 188 percent and the population over 85 will increase a startling 351 percent by 2050, compared to 22 percent for other age groups.
Baby boomers, the generation responsible for the term gray divorce, don’t view divorce the same way previous generations did. The stigma that previously surrounded divorce is fading away. As divorce rates have increased, divorce has become more widely accepted.
Another contributing factor for gray divorce is the increased financial independence many women enjoy today. Many female baby boomers have had their own careers outside the home, so the idea of divorcing is not as financially terrifying as it may be for someone whose spouse was the sole provider. With their own income, they are more confident tending to their own financial needs. For them, the threat of financial struggle is not a reason to stay in an unhappy marriage.
With increased life expectancy, improved financial independence and relaxed social views, seniors today enjoy more freedoms than generations before them. Many have the courage and desire to divorce that seniors previously wouldn’t have had. Seniors considering divorce should first hire an attorney to represent them and look out for their interests. There are different factors to consider for senior divorcees than there would be for younger divorcees, especially with financial matters, so hiring an experienced attorney familiar with divorce laws in Wyoming is imperative.