New demographic ushers in higher divorce rate

The divorce rate in the United States has fallen slightly but still basically lingers in the 50% range. However, despite the security people may assume comes along with being part of an older couple, there is a noticeable uptick in divorce for Americans over the age of 50. This uptick is being felt in Maryland and elsewhere in the country.

There are many reasons cited for the increase in what the media and sociologists have dubbed as gray divorce. One primary reason relates to the fact that people simply are living longer and realize they have decades ahead of them after they raised their kids together. This means there is no willingness to spend another few decades in a marriage that isn't working.

Another reason cited for the increase in divorce rates for those over 50 years old is that a percentage of the population in this age range is already on their second or third marriage. Second and third marriages are statistically more prone to divorce. But the rate for first and only marriages dissolving at this age is steadily climbing still.

While there are many more reasons that the phenomenon of gray divorce is rising in Maryland and other states, there is much to consider when pursuing a divorce at a later stage in life. Retirement accounts and plans may certainly be affected. There may also be decisions to make about the homestead that a couple may have lived in for decades. A family court can help couples reach an equitable settlement when divorce occurs after 50.

Source: The New York Times, Divorce After 50 Grows More Common, Sam Roberts, Sept. 20, 2013