Born between 1946 and 1964, the Baby Boomers continue to redefine American culture. Currently, couples over 50 are initiating divorce in record numbers for reasons all their own.
In 2012, a study from Bowling Green University discussed factors behind the rise in couples divorcing in middle and older age. Findings included:
- Between 1990 and 2009, the divorce rate of couples over 50 doubled
- Remarriage is risky – couples in a second marriage are 2.5 times more likely to be divorced
- Advanced education generally led to a lower divorce rate and greater marital satisfaction
A recent study by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) found similar results. Of the divorce lawyers polled, sixty-one percent had seen a rise in divorce cases with couples over 50. Reasoning behind a middle or late life divorce can include:
- With increased health and longevity, more people are less likely to stick out an emotionally unfulfilling marriage
- Many couples enjoy financial independence and do not feel the need to stay together for purely economic reasons
- Higher populations of divorced older adults increases the chances of meeting a new partner with similar interests late in life
If considering divorce after a lengthy marriage, preparation is important. Consider the following tips before making your move:
- Open financial accounts in your own name
- Review your credit report and clear up any issues
- Give real thought to your budget and where you would like to live
- Take a hard look at assets and debt
- Understand pension and retirement funds will be shared
- If you are considering remarriage, think about a prenuptial agreement to protect your assets and any inheritance for your own children.
With divorce over 50, or at any time of life, make sure you obtain skilled legal advice.