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Is There a Current Trend of Divorce after Decades of Marriage?

We celebrate when couples celebrate a 50th wedding anniversary. We look to these couples for clues on how to make a marriage work. We see them as examples of the staying power of love. But, it turns out, some of these couples may just be counting down the time to when they can finally be through with each other.

New data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the divorce rate for people 50 and older is on the rise. In fact, the divorce rate doubled for that population between 1990 and 2015. Now, 10 out of every 1,000 people age 50 and older get divorced, compared to just 5 in 1990. For those older than 65, the divorce rate has tripled. Now, about 6 people per 1,000 ages 65 and older are getting divorced.

Researchers suggest the reason divorce rates are up in these age groups is that many are on subsequent marriages – Baby Boomers, whose generation experienced high divorce rates in their early adulthood. Subsequent marriages tend to be less stable than first marriages, so it is likely that many of these divorces are from second or third marriages.

The Baby Boomers are not alone in their rising divorce rates. The same data showed the divorce rate for those younger than 50 is about twice as high as it is for their senior counterparts.

When you have been married for one decade or a few, you have a lot more to consider when you are divorcing, and working with an experienced Franklin divorce lawyer is key to protecting your rights and getting what you need in the split. I work with couples of all ages, and I see unique issues with couples who are in their later years and have, at times, been married for several decades.

To start, most of these couples don’t have minor children, so they do not have to decide on child custody or argue over child support. However, they may still be supporting children who are in college, so we will work toward an agreement that ensures that their children get what they need.

Older couples usually have more assets, as well. You may have more than one home, rental properties, a vacation home, multiple vehicles, or recreational vehicles like a boat or RV. You likely also have multiple retirement or investment accounts, including a pension, IRA, and 401(k) that are in only one spouse’s name. If you are old enough, you may also be drawing from Social Security. I work with older clients toward a fair resolution.

I also work with older divorcing clients on issues related to estate planning, such as trusts they may have established for children or grandchildren, life insurance policies, and more. Some of these issues are worked out in the divorce settlement, and some are referred to an estate planning attorney.

Finally, older adults who are on their second or third marriage may have a prenuptial agreement. They may have learned hard lessons from an earlier divorce and attempted to protect themselves with a prenup the next time around. I help clients protect the restraints of their prenup or to fight for more, depending on the circumstances of the case and what is fair based on the history of the marriage and the law.

You know what you want, and life is too short to spend the last part of it in a marriage you don’t want or fighting too long over assets in your divorce. Call me, Judy A. Oxford, an experienced Franklin divorce lawyer, to help you resolve your divorce and get what you deserve. Call me at (615) 791-8511 to schedule a free consultation, or use the secure online form to request a consultation.