Older people divorcing in large numbers

While Minnesotans may have heard media reports stating that divorce rates are falling, the trend among baby boomers to divorce in increasing numbers may be driving the overall rate to above 50 percent. Today's marriages are lasting longer, but people are also being more cautious about tying the knot and are getting married at much older ages than in prior generations.

A survey study conducted by professor Philip Cohen of the University of Maryland indicates that the divorce rate could hit 52.7 percent if current trends continue. The overall rate is largely attributable to people who are over the age of 50 divorcing in large numbers. Between 1990 and 2012, the divorce rate for people in that age group doubled. It tripled for people who were over the age of 65.

During the same time period, divorce laws have become easier and more women have found independence in the workplace. This means an increasing number of women are able to afford to live on their own. The study's author also points to the fact that baby boomers have different views on marriage and divorce than their parents did and are much more accepting of divorce as an option.

One key factor for people who divorce at older ages is how to address property division. Many individuals who are 50 or older when they file for divorce have amassed substantial assets that will make the division of property more complicated. People nearing the age of retirement may also have concerns about their ability to retire on time after they divorce. An attorney may be able to negotiate a divorce settlement agreement that will protect a client's future ability to retire.

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