What Are the Leading Causes of Gray Divorce?

Gray divorce refers to a demographic of individuals, older couples who have been married for a long period of time, who have decided to get divorced. The name comes from the color of hair that older people often have and originated in 2004. While the overall divorce rate has gone down over the past 20 years, it has doubled for couples over the age of 50. Today, we go over the most common reasons for gray divorce.

Reasons Gray Divorce Is on the Rise

To understand more about why gray divorce has been on the rise, let’s look at some of the most common reasons this type of divorce happens in the first place.

Financial issues

Financial issues are often a sensitive issue for most couples. Couples who are over the age of 50 and are struggling to either deal with their finances or work together to create a good financial foundation, end up divorcing over this issue.

Additional financial issues that could lead to a gray divorce include the following:

  • Overspending habits
  • Budgeting habits (or lack thereof)
  • Only one spouse is responsible for making decisions regarding money
  • Jealousy surrounding the spouse who makes less money


Infidelity is a major reason couples get divorced. Indiscretions after 50 may happen as cheating on your spouse does not have the same stigma it did years ago. Additionally, the presence of dating websites and apps may be tempting to couples who have never tried them.

Loss of spark

Sometimes you grow old with someone and that spark goes away. Couples do grow apart, whereas some do not. Many people seeking a gray divorce stayed together for their children and then decided to get a divorce later in life after their kids grew up. Others invested so much time in their kids that they lost touch with themselves only to find that they were unhappy in their marriage once their kids left the nest.

Increased life expectancy rates

As life expectancy has increased and is much higher today then for previous generations, people over the age of 50 now can go after love again. They still have energy and time to explore, date, travel, and enjoy their lives.


Addiction, which spans everything from drug abuse to alcoholism to a gambling addiction, also lead to divorce. Many marriages fall apart when one individual puts their needs or bad habit before the needs of their family. Additionally, gambling and substance abuse put a huge toll on a couple’s relationship as well.


Retirement could trigger a dramatic change in a couple’s lifestyle that could negatively impact the marriage. Some retired couples may not enjoy the increase in time spent together or find that their personal interests are different.

Are you looking to file for divorce? Contact us online or call us at 727-312-1112 today.


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