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All Press Releases for January 11, 2014 »
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Older Americans filing for divorce at increasing rates

A new report issued by Bowling Green State University states that about 45 percent of all marriages in the United States now end in divorce.
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    January 11, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- When two people fall in love and get married, they believe at that moment that they will be together the rest of their lives. However, for many people in Brooklyn, this is far from true and it is not uncommon to know someone who is in a second or even third marriage. While in earlier generations, couples would have found it difficult to divorce, today it is simply a matter of legal negotiations and waiting for a judge to sign a document.

Gray divorce

A new report issued by Bowling Green State University states that about 45 percent of all marriages in the United States now end in divorce. However, of special notice to researchers is the fact that divorce among older Americans is also increasing. In 2010, the number of older people in the range of 50 and upward, who divorced, reached over 600,000. This fairly new trend is being referred to as gray divorce.

Between 1990 and 2010, researchers found that the number of older couples divorcing doubled. Furthermore, the increase is expected to continue to rise through 2030. This trend is not entirely unexpected as researchers in the 1980s predicted a rise in divorce among older adults. Many older adults may have gone through a divorce earlier in their life and statistics show that second and third marriages have a lower chance of succeeding.

Possible contributing factors

While there has been no concrete evidence that shows the reason why so many older Americans are calling it quits with their marriages, there are plenty of theories. These theories include:
- A higher expectation of what marriage should be.
- Women have entered the workforce successfully, establishing their own source of income.
- Americans are living longer and do not want to remain in a relationship that has lost its glow.
- Marriage is more individualized; spouses are looking for personal satisfaction and fulfillment.
- Divorce has become socially accepted and no longer has a stigma attached to it.

It may be that each of these factors has contributed to the trend in some way. Every marriage relationship is different and each couple has their own individual reasons for deciding to end a long-term marriage.

Challenges for older couples in divorce

According to USA Today, older couples who decide to divorce may face some unique challenges, especially when it comes to retirement. A couple spends years preparing for their retirement but often these plans are designed for one lifestyle. When an older couple divorces, that same retirement must now support two separate lifestyles and this can lead to the need for several adjustments.

It is estimated that retirement for a divorced older adult will cost up to 30 percent more and for some, the increase may prevent them from retiring as scheduled. It can also mean that older people will need to cut out trips, downsize to a smaller home and eliminate luxury expenses. If people have severe health problems, it could be devastating financially for them to rely on a split retirement.

People going through a divorce should meet with an experienced attorney who can help them understand their financial situation and plan for their future needs.

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