70 is the new 50! Divorce for older people is on the rise.


It might be empty-nest syndrome. It might be the fact that people are living longer, and therefore marriages are longer. It might just be more financial independence for women. Or it might be because the stigma around divorce has disappeared.

Whatever the reason, ‘grey divorce’ – people over 50 seeking a dissolution of their marriage – is increasing.

Here’s how divorcing in your later years might differ from younger age groups:

1. Financial Provision

Courts consider factors like the duration of the marriage, the financial needs of both parties and their contributions to the marriage when making financial settlements. The longer the marriage, the more to consider.

2. Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance may be ordered to support a financially weaker spouse, especially in cases where one party has limited earning potential due to age or health issues.

3. Pension Sharing

Older couples may have significant pension assets, and the courts can order pension sharing or earmarking arrangements to ensure fairness in the division of these assets.

4. Property Division

The division of property, including the marital home, can be complex. Older couples may have owned their home for a long time, the mortgage may have been paid off. Deciding on who gets to stay in the marital home, or whether the house needs to be sold to release funds can be a difficult decision.

5. Healthcare and Social Care

Older individuals may need to consider their future healthcare and social care needs when going through a divorce. This can include discussions about how care costs will be shared or funded.

6. Adult Children

Adult children’s concerns and potential financial dependencies on their parents can play a role in the divorce process. If children have any special needs themselves, these will need to be taken into account.

7. Pension and Retirement Planning

Divorce can have significant implications for pension and retirement planning. Older couples will need to consider how the division of pensions and retirement assets impacts their retirement income.

8. Estate Planning

Updating your will and other estate planning documents is crucial after a divorce, especially for older individuals who may have significant assets and beneficiaries to consider.

We are passionate about helping couples to separate ‘well’, making divorce as quick and easy as possible, whilst ensuring a fair settlement. For further information, contact Rachel Davies on 01756 692877 or email rachel.davies@awbclaw.co.uk 

4 October 2023  

Further reading:


More from AWB Charlesworth on this subject:

Divorce. It’s tough. Here’s how we can help.

No Fault Divorce – The End of the Blame Game

The True Cost of Divorce… and it’s not £593!