While young couples across the nation are divorcing less frequently, studies indicate that among couples aged 50 and older, the number of divorces is actually on the rise. In fact, since 1990, the divorce rate has nearly doubled in the generation referred to as Baby Boomers. For older divorcing Massachusetts couples, ending a marriage later in life may brings its own unique challenges and goals.
The phenomenon, commonly known as “gray divorce,” may be due, in part at least, to the aging of these baby boomers who now comprise the majority of this age group. Statistics indicate that when this generation was in their young adulthood phase, they had an unprecedented level of divorce in their first marriages. Those who then remarried may account somewhat for this rising divorce rate among adults over the age of 50 today, as second and subsequent marriages are generally shown to be less stable than first marriages.
However, this is not the only explanation, as about of third of these gray divorces do still happen between couples who have been married for 30 years or even longer. In fact, about 12 percent of the divorcing couples studied had been married for longer than 40 years. Studies reveal that a majority of these divorces that occur later in life are due to the divorcing spouses seeking a more satisfying life. Many of the divorcées indicate that they hope to pursue their own interests and opportunities and enjoy their later years independently.
For Massachusetts couples seeking a divorce later in life, a family law attorney will be able to offer insight and guidance into what may end up being a complex process. While older couples may no longer have to worry about issues such as child custody, they have their own unique set of considerations, such as the division of decades-worth of accumulated shared property and significant assets like retirement accounts. However, no matter how long a couple has been married, a divorce at any age will likely benefit from the counsel of an experienced divorce attorney.
Source: pewresearch.org, “Divorce rates up for Americans 50 and older, led by Baby Boomers“, Renee Stepler, March 9, 2017