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So-called "gray divorce" is rising since the early-1990s

The number of divorces overall has been decreasing in recent years, but that is not the case for people who are age 50 and older. The number of divorces for people in this age group has approximately doubled over the past 25 years. These are increasingly referred to as "gray divorces," and it is something that White Plains residents might consider as they age and their marriage is on shaky ground. According to the numbers, by 2015, there were 10 divorces for every 1,000 couples age 50 and older. By contrast, in 1990, that number was five divorces for every 1,000 couples. For people age 65 and older, the number of people divorcing has tripled during that time, with six for every 1,000 married couples parting ways.

These statistics came from data supplied by the National Center for Health Services and the U.S. Census Bureau. The divorce rate for those 50 and older has steadied since 2008, but is still high.

Baby Boomers are in the age group of 51 to 69 and their frequency of divorce is part of the reason why the numbers are rising. Unstable marriages in Baby Boomers is shown by the number of times they are divorcing and remarrying. After a first marriage, those who remarry tend to have less of a chance of staying married. People 50 and older who are remarried have double the rate of divorce compared to those who were married once. Forty-eight percent of those who were 50 and over and divorced in 2015 were ending a marriage that was their second union or more.

Shorter-term marriages are also vulnerable to divorce. An example is those who were 50 and older, but were married for less than 10 years. This came to 21 divorces for every 1,000 couples. The longer the couple had been married, the less frequent the divorces were.

These numbers are a concern in the context of high asset divorce because older people tend to have a more stable financial situation with retirement accounts, real estate, bank accounts and more, that can be in dispute when trying to determine who gets what in a divorce. Having a grasp of the statistics can be important when sifting through the complex issues of a divorce. Discussing the matter with an attorney experienced in high asset divorce can help anyone regardless of their financial standing.

Source: pewresearch.org, "Led by Baby Boomers, divorce rates climb for America's 50+ population," Renne Stepler, March 9, 2017

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