Gray Divorce on the Rise

A widely-publicized study conducted by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research, Bowling Green University, documented the rise in divorce among middle-aged and older adults.

The study, known as "The Gray Divorce Revolution," documented the divorce rate among the 50 and older crowd between the years 1990 and 2010.

The study found that the divorce rates among people who were 50 and older had doubled between 1990 and 2010. By 2010, approximately 1 in 4 divorces occurred between couples 50 and older. Further, the divorce rate was 2.5 times greater for remarriages versus first marriages.

Apart from changes in societal views on marriage, and longer life expectancies, the study found several key factors such as economic resources that affect divorce.

Key Findings from the Study

Here are some highlights from the study, which indicate some common factors that either reduce or enhance the chances of a divorce later in life:

  • Divorce declines with age, thus, middle-aged adults face a higher risk of divorce.
  • The risk of divorce is reduced by economic resources.
  • College-educated individuals have a lower incidence of divorce.
  • Employment earnings reduce the risk of divorce.
  • The availability of economic resources could facilitate a gray divorce, especially among women.
  • Financial independence allows women to consider divorce as a realistic alternative to staying married.
  • Second marriages are more likely to divorce, as those who've experienced divorce are more willing to divorce again.
  • Remarriages can be plagued by step-children; conflicts over assets can undermine a stable marriage.

Going Separate Ways After the Children are Grown

Many marriages that have lasted 30 or more years are not necessarily marked by severe discord, rather these empty-nesters have finished the joint commitment of raising their children, and are now finding that they've grown apart, and don't have much in common.

With today's no-fault divorce, many Baby Boomers are going their separate ways after the children have grown, and moved out of the house.

If you are over 50 and headed for a "gray divorce," there are some special financial considerations to take into account. An Encino divorce attorney from Cutter & Lax can discuss how a divorce later in life would impact retirement savings, the family home, Social Security income, and spousal support among other concerns.

Call today to find out how our San Fernando Valley firm can protect your best interests!