According to the New York Times, more Americans 50 and older are divorced than widowed. A half a century ago, 2.8% of Americans age 50 and older were divorced.
By 2000, 11.8% were. In 2011, according to the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, 15.4% were divorced, another 2.1% separated, and 13.5% widowed.
Based on those statistics, the divorce rate among people 50 and older has doubled since 1990. That's a significant increase since half the married U.S. population is older than 50.
Why are Couples 50 & Older Divorcing?
Family history professor Stephanie Coontz of Evergreen State College in Washington State attributes the trend to the fact that many boomers are on their second and third marriages, making them more prone to divorce.
Coontz also suggests that people who live an active and healthy lifestyle are more likely to divorce their spouse. Coontz commented in the New York Times article, "If you are healthy at age 65, you can expect another healthy 20 years. With the kids gone, it seems more burdensome to stay in a bad relationship, or one that has gone stale."
What are the Implications of Divorcing Older in Life?
Divorce among older Americans can have serious implications including:
- Placing a larger burden on children and family members;
- Financials including investments, social security, survivor and tax benefits and;
- Emotional impact at an older age and inability to move forward in life.
How to Handle a 'Gray Divorce'
Finalizing your divorce can turn ugly in an extended battle over financials and child custody and child support (especially if children under the age of 18 are involved). It is best to contact an experienced divorce AND family law attorney. Your attorney will have your best interests in mind and you will know what to expect for your divorce case as well as your legal options and rights.
Contact Atlanta Divorce Attorneys Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor Today
The experienced divorce attorneys of Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor will work closely with you to understand your needs, review your rights and options, consider creative alternatives, and prepare a sound legal strategy for your divorce and family law case.
To schedule a consultation with the attorneys at Stearns-Montgomery & Proctor today, call 770-280-1488 or completing our simple contact form.
Source: Divorce After 50 Grows More Common - NYTimes.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/22/fashion/weddings/divorce-after-50-grows-more-common.html