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Birmingham Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Divorce > Bill And Melinda Gates Highlight Growing “Gray Divorce” Trend

Bill And Melinda Gates Highlight Growing “Gray Divorce” Trend


The nation has been shocked by the news that the decades-long billionaire power-couple Bill and Melinda Gates are filing for divorce. However, experts say that Bill and Melinda, who are in their mid-sixties and fifties, respectively, are hardly an exception. In fact, they point to a strong national trend toward later-in-life divorces, to which they believe the Covid-19 pandemic has lent considerable momentum.

Why Are So Many People Getting Divorced Later in Life?

According to experts, and many people questioned, people in their 50s and 60s are starting to think, “I only have 30 years of life left, is this really how I want to spend it?” Many who have stayed in “perfectly fine” or moderately functional marriages for generations to raise children or because it was working well enough, are suddenly realizing that they want more than maintaining the status quo out of the remaining years of their life and are beginning to look into divorce. In Europe, divorce inquiries with law firms have increased by 95% and are largely driven by women. Many say that the pandemic highlighted for them what they had been trying to ignore for generations. There’s simply no need to stay with someone who doesn’t appreciate you, and many women are realizing that they have finished raising their children, and they no longer want to take care of their husband as well. Instead, they are seeing an opportunity to really enjoy life and give themselves what they need.

Ending the Stigma of Separation

Experts say that historically couples avoided divorcing later in life due to the stigma around separation and public scrutiny. Couples were more willing to remain in “empty shell” marriages to maintain the status quo due to the high social (and even familiar) cost of leaving. However, as these stigmas crumble, people are feeling less and less compelled to stay in marriages that are not fulfilling.

Longer Lives Mean More Choices

Experts also point to the fact that people living longer and healthier lives means they have more opportunity to make different choices, start over, and have new experiences. The pandemic, while it certainly brought a real threat of serious illness and death, also reminded people that time is precious and made them grateful for their health.

More Education Means Less Dependence

The increase of education and careers among women means that many women are feeling less tied to marriages for security. Many have seen their daughters pursue careers and support themselves and have realized they can do the same. They are realizing that there is a life outside of marriage and that they have the ability to support themselves, a life-changing and exhilarating shift in thinking for many.

Talk to an Alabama Divorce Lawyer

If you are considering a divorce, the best thing you can do is talk to an experienced attorney to get a sense of what your options are and the best way to move forward. Contact the Birmingham divorce lawyers at Peeples Law and schedule a personalized consultation today.



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