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Baby boomer divorce rates high

Older adults in Virginia and throughout the country may be more likely to divorce than ever before. Statistics show that while the overall number of divorces has fallen, half of all marriages still end in divorce. Baby boomers are the main reason for the latter statistic.

The rate of people in the 55-to-64 age group getting a divorce doubled between 1990 and 2012, and the rate tripled for people 65 and older during that time period. One observer says that longer lifespans are one reason older adults are divorcing at a higher rate. Women's financial independence is another reason.

It is not yet clear whether millennials will follow suit with failed marriages. Americans are marrying at an older age compared to the 1940s through the 1970s. However, first marriages tend to end after about a dozen years, so there is still time for younger people to catch up with the divorce rate of their older counterparts. On the other hand, the divorce rate may remain lower because more people are cohabiting rather than marrying. Furthermore, people who divorce once are less likely to remarry.

Whether or not the divorce rate starts to change significantly, some marriages will still end. When that occurs may determine the main issues of the divorce. For example, when younger people divorce, they may be most concerned about child custody and support. Older Americans might not have any minor children, but they may be more worried about keeping their retirement accounts. Furthermore, the length of a marriage may have an impact on things such as military and Social Security benefits. People who are divorcing may want to speak to an attorney about their specific situation and main worries regardless of the legal issues that affect them.

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