Gray Divorce: Choosing to End a Marriage in the Twilight Years

Gray Divorce in the U.S.Many couples choose to get married, thinking that they will grow old together and live happily ever after. While this is a lovely sentiment, sometimes, things do not always work out the way you want them to. This is true even after a decades-long marriage.

“Gray divorce” refers to a divorce in your twilight years. Couples over the age of 50 may choose to finally end it for one reason or another. According to, Colorado is a no-fault state, meaning that couples can choose to divorce if they want to — there is no age limit to splitting up.

The Complexities of Ending a Divorce

Gray divorce is becoming more common in the U.S. The divorce rate for elderly couples has nearly doubled between the years of 1990 and 2010, with one in four divorces involving someone who is over the age of 50.

Financially, a gray divorce is riskier, as the couple will have less time to bounce back from the divorce. After all, it can be harder to gain new assets if retirement is imminent.

It may also be more difficult to split the property and assets, and adult children may become involved, further complicating the process.

One of the biggest issues is who gets to live in the family home – this may be a major sticking point for older couples, with years of memories attached to the house. These situations will often require the help of a mediator, who will help the couple come to an agreement that benefits them both.

Newfound Freedom

While it is true that a gray divorce is exceptionally difficult considering how much is at stake, it can also be a source of empowerment. Newly single men and women in their fifties often express relief in their newfound freedom.

Indeed, freedom seems to be the best part of having a gray divorce – some even say that it is the first time for them to experience it in decades of being tied down in marriage.