Over the past few decades, baby boomer divorces have been increasing at an alarming rate – which is especially surprising given that divorce rates for the population as a whole have stabilized in recent years. In fact, according to a study by Bowling Green State University, divorce rates for couples over 50 have doubled in the last two decades. For example, less than one out of 10 people divorcing in 1990 were over 50-years-old – a rate that rose to one out of four by 2009.
By reviewing federal data from the American Community Survey in 2009, the study also discovered that over-50 divorce rates were highest among black couples and lowest among whites couples, with Hispanic couples being somewhere in the middle. Older divorcees were also generally less educated than couples who continued to be married, and those couples who had been married more than once had a 2.5 times higher divorce rate than couples in their first marriage.
One of the main reasons many attribute to this rise in baby boomer divorce rates is increased life expectancy. Many baby boomers reach retirement age and realize they are likely to live for another 25 years, at which time they begin to question whether or not they want to spend their remaining years with their spouse – especially since their children are generally grown and moved out long ago.
One problem that can arise with late-in-life divorces is that couples have acquired property and intermingled assets for decades, making property division much more complex than with a younger couple. For example, older couples may have multiple real-estate properties and retirement accounts – all of which need to be divided in a divorce. And as with any divorce, this process can get ever more difficult when emotion levels are riding high with the divorcees. An experienced attorney can help navigate through this difficult and complex process.
Source: KTVQ News, “Baby boomer divorce rate doubles,” Greg Clary, June 24, 2012