Friday, June 25, 2010

“Grey Divorce”

Make Sure Its Not “Grave” Mistake

David D. Stein, Esq.
© Liaise® Mediated Solutions, LLC 2009

Apparently there is a nationwide upswing in divorce amongst an older demographic. This phenomenon is being called “Grey Divorce”.

We at Liaise are seeing it too. Many of our customers are past 50 and ending marriages of long duration.

Liaise never intrudes on the personal life of our clients and so I can offer no cogent insight into why this is happening, but as Yogi Berra said, “You can observe a lot just by watching.”

What we have been seeing is that the older divorce, unlike the younger divorce is often characterized by less anger. It is not as if there has been a simmering caldron of discontent brewing for years that finally explodes once the kids are out of the house; it is more like one party has just decided that enough is enough, often to the great surprise of the other party. This is not to say that there is a complete absence of anger, it merely seems as if the rancor doesn’t rise to the same level of rage as we sometimes observe in younger couples.

Dispassionately, perhaps this trend was predictable given that the “baby boomers” or “Pepsi Generation” are all nearing 60. The “me generation” is now, as always, searching for gratification. For some the children are now grown and independent so that barrier to divorce is lessened. Add to this the ever increasing infidelity amongst older people [is this the Viagra effect] and the economic mobility that many older people enjoy and it is not hard to see why so many long term marriages are ending.

For the older couple seeking to end their marriage it is very important to do so in a manner that preserves both the best parts of a long term relationship and accomplishes the dissolution with the least cost possible. For everybody it is difficult to earn and save money, but for older people it is even more of an issue since there are fewer prime earning years left before retirement. What is worse, the idea of invading capital to pay for the expense of divorce is blasphemy to savvy financial planners.

Instead of engaging attorneys to litigate their dissolution, smart older [and younger] couples are hiring a mediator to help them come to fair terms on the conditions of their separation. There is no reason to go to war, make the lawyers rich and deplete your resources and put the comfort and security of your retirement at risk. Do yourself a favor, hire Liaise Mediated Solutions to help guide you to the most cost effective management of your disputes.

David D. Stein has been an attorney for over 20 years and is the founder of Liaise Mediated Solutions. He is a trained mediator, dispute resolution specialist and lecturer on non-violent conflict management techniques and tools.


  1. Hi David: Same thing here in NJ. You are correct in that there is less anger with older divorces but so much more at stake given the significant assets accumulated. Nice article. Regards, Joe Dillon

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