Divorce on the rise among older Americans

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Thursday, November 8, 2012.

We all most likely know someone who decided to get a divorce after the age of 50. It could have been due to any number of reasons, including infidelity, boredom with the relationship, or just wanting to get more out of life. Whatever the cause, it seems to be a trend as there has been an increase in divorce among baby boomers in the last 20 years.

In a paper titled, “The Gray Divorce Revolution,” Susan Brown and I-Fen Lin reported a divorce rate increase among older Americans. Using U.S. Census data, it was found the divorce rate among this demographic doubled between 1990 and 2010. This rate also increased while the overall divorce rate in the country remained relatively flat, even slightly decreasing at some point.

When looking at the different demographics among those who got divorced, things like education level, employment, length of marriage and the number of marriages played a role. For example, while those with college educations were less likely than those without college educations to get a divorce, those who were unemployed and over the age of 50 had the highest divorce rate.

Duration of the marriage also played a significant role. Among those married for 40 years, the divorce rate was 3.2 divorces per 1,000 married people. For those married less than 10 years, the rate was 29 divorces per 1,000 married people. There was also a significant increase in divorces among remarriages.

Obviously the data speaks for itself. Divorce is on the rise among baby boomers. But just what does this mean?

According to Robert Hughes, a professor of human development, as a society, more needs to be done in order to provide support to the increasing number of divorced and single older people living alone — especially as they continue to age.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Are Baby Boomers Still Pushing Up the Divorce Rate?” Robert Hughes, Jr., Nov. 2, 2012

  • Our firm understands that regardless of age, divorce happens for any number of reasons. To learn more about our practice, please visit our St. Louis divorce page.

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