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New data reveals rising gray divorce rates


When people think about baby boomers -- the post-World War Two generation -- in Houston people think about a generation of people who grew up during some of the most tumultuous times in human history. Tough and resilient, baby boomers were at the forefront of the social and economic changes that defined the 20th century.

However, according to a latest poll by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, there is a 61 percent increase in the number of gray divorces among people over 50-years-old in the United States. The AAML polled its 1,600 members and found that most respondents saw an increase in divorce cases among the over-50 age group. They also found that it is the wife who often initiates the divorce.

Despite years of being married, each case is unique. Most experts, however, attribute the rise in gray divorce disputes to longevity, changes in the relationship dynamics of the last quarter century and the relative ease of filing for divorce nowadays. Others also notice the involvement of a third party and the growing independence of women.

Recent statistics show that approximately 45 percent of marriages end in divorce. The rate is even higher for remarriages. Academic studies also reported similar results, claiming that the divorce rate doubled in the last two decades among middle-aged and older adults. The rate is twice as high for remarriages.

Ending marriages during the last quarter of the person's lifetime may actually prove more financially difficult for many baby boomers than if they had divorced when they were younger. Experts cite that social security benefits and retirement accounts enters the picture at such a stage. Alimony, business partnership interests and retirement or pension accounts are among the most contentious issues in these divorces.

This proves that decades of being together is no guarantee that it will last. Divorce can occur to anyone, regardless of a person's age. Divorce, however, is not all negative as it can allow a person to start a new life.

Source: Yahoo, "Gray divorces rising as more baby boomers opt to end marriages," Patricia Reaney, June 12, 2013

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