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Older couples divorcing more frequently than years passed

Everyone knows that divorce rates are high in the state of New York. The national average claims that roughly 50 percent of marriages end in divorce. But what other kind of trends are happening with divorce? One recent development is the increase in divorces for men and women over age 50. More and more couples are deciding to split after many years of marriage and children raised between them.

The New York Times asked experts in the field what they make of the recent increase in 'silver' divorces. Part of the reason points to people living longer, therefore more time to spend outside of an unhappy marriage.

However, the biggest reason for the increase is the status of women in society. Women are more financially secure than they have ever been and this can lead to situations of high net worth divorce, especially when two spouses have worked most of their lives to be at a dignified place in their career with the nest egg between the two of them.

The 'nest egg' could mean anything from 401(k)'s to stocks and savings. Since women feel more secure financially, 60% of women are initiating divorces over a certain age versus just 40 percent of men initiating the split. There is a greater risk of poverty for divorced women over a certain age. However, 50% of women age 55-64 are employed which means they have an independent source of income.

There are obviously many factors influencing New Yorkers 'silver' divorces around the state. High net worth divorces of couples of a certain age often have many financial assets to ascertain and divide. Some couples have been married for 20 years or more.

A lifetime may have been spent with one person but it is possible for those over a certain age to 'start over.' The finances are probably the main concern of this generation as there is much to say about a mid-life divorce and the finances accumulated in the first half of life.

Source: The New York Times, "After full lives together, more older couples are divorcing," Abby Ellen, Oct. 30, 2015

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