Berman & Asbel, LLP

Divorce on the rise in over-50 age group

Married Pennsylvania residents who are over the age of 50 may be more likely to divorce than their younger counterparts. According to several studies, divorce has remained steady or declined among most other age groups, but for individuals over 50, twice as many got a divorce in 2014 compared to 1990, according to Bowling Green State University researchers.

Experts suggest a number of reasons this may be the case. Older adults might be more likely to be in second marriages, and some studies have found that second marriages are 2.5 times more likely to end in divorce than first marriages. Longer lifespans might be another reason. Adults over 50 are looking at several more decades of life expectancy, and they may decide not to spend it in a marriage that is unsatisfying. A third reason could be that older adults are more likely to have the financial security to divorce than younger ones.

Other studies have looked at people who say they have considered divorce. A Brigham Young University study divided those who contemplate divorce into two groups. One group thinks about divorce far less. These individuals are three times more likely to say they did not want a divorce. The other group thinks about divorce more frequently and has more serious problems than the first group.

Even after efforts to mend a marriage, a couple may decide that divorce is the best outcome for them. People may then face more difficult decisions ahead regarding child custody, child and spousal support and property division. If there is prenuptial agreement, it may be challenged. A couple may be able to work together or they may need to turn to the court system to resolve their differences. Because the end of a marriage is often an emotional time, individuals do not always make the best long-term decisions due to being angry or wanting to avoid conflict. An attorney may be helpful in suggesting strategies and solutions to a divorcing spouse.

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