Grey divorce as a term refers to any couple over the age of 50 who have decided to get a divorce. “Silver splitter” and “diamond divorce” are other terms you may also hear.

What sets grey divorce apart from other types of divorce, aside from the age? And why has grey divorce continued to rise in recent years?

Change in lifespan and opinion

Forbes looks at the potential reasons and implications behind the rise in grey divorce. Experts point at many different possible contributing factors. For one, the average lifespan continues to go up. This means 50 is no longer considered “too old” to do things like divorce, date or remarry. More older couples make these decisions each year, understanding they still have decades to live.

As time goes on, opinions about divorce change, too. In earlier generations, divorce carried a huge social stigma. Many unhappy couples stayed together to avoid this brand. Now, divorce is relatively common. Most people know at least one divorced individual. This helps normalize it and relieves divorcees of the stigma.

A growing community

Also, as more grey divorcees go through the process, support grows. This community helps other divorcees get through. This network allows people who might have hesitated to feel like they have a source of support and a community to turn to. This often makes a scary decision like divorce easier to handle.

Of course, there are potential risks and downsides, too. But they often end up greatly outweighed. In the end, it is up to each individual to determine what works best, and whether the future involves divorce.