Why is gray divorce increasing in Canada? (Langley, Surrey, white Rock)

Why is gray divorce increasing in Canada?

While the prospect of a longer life is usually one looked upon favourably by most people, living longer can bring with it unique challenges. British Columbia residents understand that a longer life means a longer retirement period, which in turn can mean changes to the way savings are utilized. However, one of the most prevalent issues for married couples approaching retirement age is the trend of so-called grey divorce, which is becoming more and more common.

Simply put, couples approaching divorce usually made decisions to end their marriages in their late 40s and early 50s, once their children were grown and out of the family home. However, in the last several years, trends have indicated that children are staying home longer, and when coupled with increased life expectancy, this means divorce is being pushed back towards retirement age. Given the average person is more likely than ever to live to be 90 years old, this represents considerable portions of their lives.

This is why some couples are choosing to divorce later in life, which can bring several unique challenges. Obviously, retirement is a major factor, particularly for women who have been out of the workforce for a long time and are reliant upon their partners’ 401(k)s or other plans. Additionally, the division of assets can be a more involved process at this later stage of life, as couples have had years and, sometimes, decades to accrue marital assets and debts.

These complications are why it can be so beneficial for British Columbia residents facing the prospect of grey divorce to seek support from qualified legal professionals. The waters of a divorce can be challenging to navigate at any age, but those who divorce late in life can only gain from a relatively quick and egalitarian divorce agreement. This gives both parties the chance to live out their golden years in the way they desire.


Stuart Zukerman

Stuart Zukerman, a graduate of the University of British Columbia, has over 32 years of experience in litigation with a focus on Family Law, Personal Injury, Wrongful Dismissal claims, and Collaborative Divorce & Mediation. He has extensive trial experience in divorce, child custody, spousal support, asset division, and ICBC injury claims. As an accredited Family Law Mediator, he helps resolve disputes without court intervention. Stuart has also authored papers on family law and lectured at CLE courses.