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The Trend Toward Divorce over 50


Americans are not shy about divorce. A recent study notes the United States has the highest divorce rate in the world. Among people over age 50, the divorce rate doubled between 1990 and 2009. What is fueling the upward trend in gray divorce?

In April, researchers at Bowling Green State University released The Gray Divorce Revolution, a study based on United States Vital Statistics data and the 2009 American Community Survey (ACS). Findings of the study include:

  • Divorce early in life increases the risk of a second or additional divorce
  • Age, ethnicity and education affect divorce risk
  • Greater longevity has led to higher divorce rates

So why were roughly one in four divorces in 2009 obtained by couples over 50?  The answer seems grounded in marital biography and the trends of a nation. Fast disappearing is the institution of marriage, an outmoded model of self-sacrifice in support of a cultural norm. Aging Baby Boomers who initially drove divorce rates up 20 years ago are thinking twice about spending their golden years in empty, long-cooled relationships.

As a law firm focused on divorce and family law, we represent clients of all ages. Often clients who have a high net worth seek our assistance maintaining their quality of life through strategic division of their marital property during divorce.

Over 50 or under, if divorce comes to your door, contact us when you need skilled representation and experienced legal advice.