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Divorce Increase in People Over 50

In 1990, the divorce rate for people over 50 was 1 in 10. But in 2010 the rate increased to 1 in 4, according to a study published in this Chicago Tribune article. The National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio conducted the survey, and were surprised by the results—especially since divorce rates for younger couples have leveled off.

Despite the surprising results, the researchers came up with possible theories for the doubled divorce rate: more seniors are alive now than in previous years, more women have successful careers, and more people are ignoring the churches' no-divorce rule.

The study also found demographic trends in the divorce rates. Divorces were higher in general with couples that had remarried—possibly because they've already experienced a divorce, and know how life will still go on. The more education a couple had, the lower the divorce rate; retirees also had the lowest divorce rate, whereas unemployed couples had the highest rate. In regards to race, blacks had the highest later-in-life divorce rate, followed by Hispanics, whites, and Asians.

The study conductors also noted that certain factors, such as children leaving home, can either “invigorate” a marriage, or allow one of the parties to realize they want a divorce and to start living life again.

Even though divorce rates are rising for the baby boomer demographic, attitude plays a big part in how the divorcee views the rest of their life. People in their 50s and 60s are ready to try again and get out in the world, whereas older people may be frustrated that they are now alone when they didn't expect it.

Divorce is different for baby boomers than for other generations. The ex may need health insurance—at least until they can get Medicare—possible alimony, and the house can be tied up in home equity.

Whether you're young or old, the divorce process can get tricky. Our attorneys are skilled at all aspects of divorce and family law, and will be able to help you work through this time with the least hassle. Contact our Naperville office today.

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