In the 20 years between 1990 and 2010 the gray divorce rate—meaning divorces of spouses who are 50 and older—doubled in Ohio. Another way to say that is, as Baby Boomers became seniors, the percentage of them ending their long-term marriages increased dramatically.
There are several distinctions between gray divorces and those that occur with younger couples. Rarely is custody an issue in gray divorces, unless you are talking about the custody of beloved pets. Gray divorces are also different in that they tend to deal with diverse assets such as multiple dwellings and well-established financial funds.
Gray divorcees have different concerns
The division of assets in gray divorces can be something of a Gordian Knot. Many divorcing Baby Boomers commenced their relationships with little money or property. Over the course of 40 or 50 years of marriage, these couples acquired substantial estates. Their priorities have shifted to keeping their retirement income intact, coming to equitable divisions and providing for their heirs.
Mediation and arbitration are more likely in gray divorces
Spouses going through a gray divorce often want insightful help on finalizing the division of their funds and property. This is often accomplished through either mediation or arbitration. Mediation is the process of the spouses working with each other to come to a mutually acceptable division. Arbitration is different in that the spouses agree to present their desires to an arbiter who determines the final terms of the divorce.
Gray divorcees also have the distinction of having considered this option for a long period of time and often are less emotional about the process and the outcome.