The Pew Research Center reports that divorce rates among couples 50 years and older (“Grey Divorce”) is on the rise.

The term “Grey Divorce” refers couples divorcing who are 50+ years old.  The research shows that the overall rate of divorce in the United States has declined over the past 20 years, but the divorce rate for people over 50 is on the rise.

These “grey divorces” are due to a number of reasons.


Financial reasons are a common basis for a grey divorce. We see wives whose husbands refuse to let them have any say in the couple’s finances. This becomes more of a problem when the husband has trouble managing the finances. As well, fights about debt are common.

Growing Apart

I often hear the reason for the divorce is that one or both have grown apart. The spark is gone. The children are grown and now the couple is in the house alone. And, there is no plan for what is next.


You or your husband may have been caught or suspected of infidelity.


Commonly, any of the above are accompanied by addiction to drugs, alcohol and/or gambling. Needless to say, addiction is, itself, a basis for wanting a divorce. Marriages fall apart when your husband puts his addiction ahead of all else.

I always suggest attempting marriage counseling before ending a long term marriage unless there is abuse. But, most of the 50+ women seeking divorce tell me they’ve tried marriage counseling and/or that their husband will not go.

There is light at the end of the tunnel! You still have your life ahead of you and you can take it over again. Give our office a call if you’d like to set up a consultation with Mr. Nathan to learn your options with a “grey” divorce at 415-341-1144.

Paul Nathan
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Marin County California Divorce, Child Support and Custody Lawyer Representing Women Exclusively