Should It Be Easy? Divorce Process Attitudes Among Those Who Have Split Up in Midlife

Jocelyn Elise Crowley, Jessica DePalma Brand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This grounded theory analysis examines the gray divorced population’s attitudes about the divorce process, that is, whether those who have experienced a divorce at age 50 or older believe divorce should be easier or harder to obtain in U.S. society. Among the 40 men and 40 women interviewed in this analysis, there were divorce delayers, who wanted to make divorce laws stricter; divorce facilitators, who championed more flexible divorce laws; divorce ambivalents, who held mixed views; and marriage gatekeepers, who advocated on behalf of status quo divorce laws but tougher relationship-strengthening requirements before marriage. The diversity of these participants’ views reflects those voices in the general population who continue to see divorce as a complex decision for most couples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-68
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Divorce and Remarriage
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Law


  • divorce process
  • gray divorce
  • interviews


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