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Divorce down for younger couples, up for older ones

People at or over the age of 50 in Virginia and throughout the country may be more likely to divorce than people in the 25-to-39 age group, and in 2015, they were getting a divorce at two times the rate they were in 1990. People at or over 65 are three times more likely to divorce than they were in 1990. However, the divorce rate is dropping among younger couples, and this may be because people are marrying later in life.

The baby boomer generation has a history of marital instability, and this has contributed to higher divorce rates as they age. Second and subsequent marriages are more likely to end in divorce than first marriages, and nearly half of divorces among older couples occurred in remarriages. People who were married for fewer than 10 years were more likely to divorce although around 34 percent of people at or over 50 who divorced had been married more than 30 years. About 12 percent had been married for at least 40 years. Among the reasons for divorce after decades of marriage are a growing dissatisfaction and a desire for greater independence.

Divorce at an older age does present some risks. It may leave people less financially stable at a point in their life when they have less time to make up the deficit. Men may suffer socially.

People might be able to take steps to safeguard their finances during a divorce. For example, if there is a significant discrepancy in income, one individual may be able to collect both spousal and child support from the other. They should also be careful about making poor financial decisions during the divorce. For example, people might agree to exchange their share of a retirement account for the home, but the retirement account may be worth more and does not require upkeep.

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