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Why Grey Divorce Can Be A Smoother Process

by | Nov 1, 2023 | News

Grey divorce – the term given to a mature couple who decide to separate – is on the rise, with more and more elderly people deciding to call it quits.

Although the reasons for this increase in grey divorce are varied and each separation is unique, when older couples decide to split it can be a much more simple process. True, grey divorces can pose their own unique challenges (which we’ll also cover) but overall, the bad blood and hostility is largely absent.

Here we take a look at why a grey divorce can be a much more straightforward process, which helps avoid much of the acrimony that can develop in divorces involving younger couples. 


Why Grey Divorce Can Be Easier

Although divorcing at an older age can pose a number of unique challenges, there are also some pretty significant advantages too. These include:


Emotional Maturity

As we age, most of us develop an emotional maturity which tends to steer us away from acrimony and conflict. This emotional stability makes us calmer and easier to negotiate with, so those involved in a grey divorce tend to be more open to dealing with proceedings amicably.   


Children And Parental Rights

When two people divorce, often one of the major points of contention is the arrangement of childcare arrangements. In some cases, no parent is willing to budge, which can create an impasse and create tension and delay. In some situations, it can start to get ugly.

When it comes to grey divorce, in many cases this potential sticking point is completely avoided as older couples generally tend to have adult children who are no longer dependent. This eliminates the need for complex custody arrangements which can lead to a much smoother divorce process.


Financial Security

Along with childcare responsibilities, money is another area that tends to dominate divorce proceedings. This is especially true if one party believes the financial settlement is unfavourable towards them which can lead to extended negotiations and potential legal battles.

Unlike younger couples, older divorcees have usually worked for decades and built up substantial assets and savings. This financial stability tends to ensure the division of assets is a smooth and straightforward process, avoiding some of the bitter feuds us divorce lawyers see on a regular basis.


The Unique Challenges Of Grey Divorce

As well as there being  a number of advantages to getting divorced at a later age, naturally this can also come with its own set of unique challenges too. These include the following:


Fear Of Loneliness

One of the most common concerns in grey divorce is the fear of loneliness and the uncertainty of finding new companionship in this late stage of life. Older people may also worry about their social lives, especially if the couple share the same friends.

The fear of isolation is what prevents many unhappy older couples from separating. However, with a clean and amicable divorce, as well as some effort to integrate into the dating world (if desired) and make friends, your social life may actually benefit from the divorce.  


Shame And Stigma

Getting divorced can carry a sense of shame, especially in cultures that place a high value on lifelong commitment. As a result, couples may feel embarrassed or judged for ending a long-term marriage.

Overcoming these feelings and understanding that personal happiness should take priority over the wishes of others are crucial steps in this process and should help you overcome these worries.


Healthcare And Long-Term Care

When divorcing, older couples should consider their healthcare and long-term care plans, including insurance. Both parties need to ensure they are adequately provided for in their senior years and the absence of their spouse’s support is another consideration to make.


Estate Planning

The legal side of divorce proceedings is sometimes a daunting and complicated area to navigate. Everything from updating estate plans, wills and beneficiaries will need to be taken care of, which is another unique challenge of grey divorce.

Proper estate planning with a divorce solicitors will ensure that post-divorce wishes are reflected in legal documents and that all assets are distributed as intended. Furthermore, failing to update these documents can lead to unintended consequences and disputes further down the line, so proper legal planning will ensure you avoid these issues.

So that’s how a grey divorce can often prove to be a smoother process than a separation involving a younger couple.