What is Gray Divorce - Reasons
Written by Craig Cherney

What is Gray Divorce? Surviving Divorce After 50

Wondering what gray divorce is and how you are going to survive this transition?

Learn more about how collaborative divorce can help you avoid the high emotional and financial costs of divorce litigation. If you’re ready to move forward with your divorce now, contact one of the professionals at Best Legal Choices today.

Here we define gray divorce and provide coping tips to help you make this difficult transition.

What is Gray Divorce?

Gray divorce refers to the trend of increasing divorce rates for couples who divorce after 20, 30, and 40 years of marriage or more. The divorce rate has increased by over 109% for couples ages 50 and over.

Gray Divorce Statistics

According to 2015 data provided by Pew Research Center, for couples over 40 that have been married ten years or fewer, there were about 21 divorces for every 1,000 marriages. For couples over 50, there were about ten divorces for every 1,000 marriages in 2015, compared to only five divorces for every 1,000 marriages in 1990. Furthermore, the divorce rate has roughly tripled for couples age 65 or older.

5 Gray Divorce Coping Tips

If you are over 50 and headed for divorce, here are some suggestions that can help to minimize the impact of your divorce so you can move on and enjoy the rest of your life.

  1. Consider Collaborative Divorce or Divorce Mediation

The last thing you want to do is waste a lot of time and your hard-earned money fighting your spouse in court. Collaborative divorce and divorce mediation are cost-effective alternatives to litigating key divorce issues. Some of the biggest benefits to using collaborative process for divorce are: it is private, it usually takes less time to complete than litigation, and you and your spouse have more control over the outcome.

  1. Consider Therapy or Counseling

No one should go through a divorce alone. Going through a divorce at age 50 or over can be rough on you emotionally. Consider talking with family or friends, going to counseling or joining a support group to help you cope and move forward during this difficult time. Divorce counseling might be exactly what you need to manage your grief and make a healthier transition to being single.

  1. Adjust Your Lifestyle

Regardless of which spouse was the primary wage-earner in the relationship, there’s a good chance you might have to adjust your lifestyle or downsize. A divorce might even end up delaying your retirement plans. Adjusting to this transition may mean learning how to live within a budget or going back to work.

  1. Keep Normal Routines

Make sure you are taking care of yourself physically and emotionally. Take time out to eat well, exercise, and relax. Try to stick to your normal routine as much as possible. Don’t use drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism; they will only lead to additional problems.

  1. Redesign Your Life

Volunteer, make new friends, sign up for a class, invest more time in your hobbies, and start a new life. Did you lose parts of yourself during this marriage? This is your time to reclaim your identity. Redesign your new life exactly the way you want it. Keep in mind, with enough time and the right attitude you can make it through anything. Give yourself permission to grieve, then give yourself permission to continue moving forward.


  1. Stark, Lubov, and Esq. “4 Ways To Prepare For Divorce Post-Fifty.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 20 Jan. 2013, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/coping-with-a-grey-divorc_b_2101332.
  2. “Intro to Gray Divorce.” McKinley Irvin, https://www.mckinleyirvin.com/resources/gray-divorce/.
  3. Godfrey, Neale. “The Rise of Gray Divorce: Why and Why Not?” www.kiplinger.com, Kiplingers Personal Finance, 23 Jan. 2019, https://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T065-C032-S014-the-rise-of-gray-divorce-why-and-why-not.html.
  4. “Divorce Rates up for Americans 50 and Older, Led by Baby Boomers.” Pew Research Center, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/03/09/led-by-baby-boomers-divorce-rates-climb-for-americas-50-population/.

See Also:

Collaborative Divorce is a Peaceful Divorce Option

Divorce litigation can be scary and emotionally draining for you, your spouse, and your children. But it doesn’t have to be that way with collaborative divorce. The collaborative process can result in a less expensive, more efficient, and less harmful outcome for everyone involved. One of the legalfinancial, and communication professionals at Best Legal Choices can help you navigate this difficult time in your life.


The collaborative divorce process is designed to help people who are willing to work together to make an agreement that benefits the family. Resources that help parents communicate effectively during this process can help them model appropriate behavior for their kids. With love and support, children can more effectively deal with their parents’ divorce. Contact one of the professionals at Best Legal Choices if you’re ready to take the first step toward starting your new life.