Gray Divorce: What You Need to Know About Divorce Over 50


DivorceBaby boomers love to do everything their own way. These days, they are on the front lines of divorce, too.

While the overall divorce rate in the United States has decreased since the 90s, it has doubled for men and women aged 50. Dubbed gray divorce, calling it quits during your golden years may no longer be decision that raises eyebrows, as roughly 1 in 4 divorces come out of couples within this age group.

Of course, getting divorced is never easy — and if you are over the age of 50, it can come with some special challenges. Read on for some things you need to know to kick-start your new life and to move forward with your divorce.

Alimony is Usually Granted After Long-Term Marriages

Younger couples often settle for temporary alimony agreements. For those who are exiting long-term marriages, on the other hand, it’s a different story. In some states, the court generally provides alimony for life, according to DivorceNet and the Law Office of Gordon N. Shayne.

In Colorado, for instance, the judge may award one spouse lifetime alimony if the marriage is long enough — typically at least 20 years or more.

The Kids May Still Be a Factor

Many of those aged 50 or older go through divorce because there are no more kids to use as a reason to stay together. Gray divorce does not have the same gut-wrenching issues involving children that younger couples have.

While child support and visitation orders are likely to be out of the picture, adult children are still considered in the divorce proceedings, especially if they provide financial support for their elderly parents.

It’s Important to Get a Prenuptial Agreement — Again

With remarriages being more likely to end in divorce than the first one, family law attorneys advise those considering another union to get a prenuptial agreement. Without one, a second divorce can take a toll on retirement savings, which have already been split once, and then divided even further.

A marriage that ends during your golden years may put you in an especially vulnerable position. With careful planning and legal help, however, you can overcome the obstacles that come with gray divorce — and eventually emerge from your marriage strong.