Berman & Asbel, LLP

Divorce among seniors is becoming more common

Pennsylvania residents who are having problems with their marriages may not now that older couples around the country are getting divorced at record numbers. According to the National Center of Marriage and Family Research, people 50 or older were two times more likely to get a divorce in 2014 than they were in 1990. The increase in the divorce rate for people over age 65 was even more dramatic.

While seniors are divorcing in higher numbers every year, the divorce rates for people in all other age groups have remained steady over the past decade. There are several different theories about the reasons for these age-related divorce statistics. Some of the factors that may be influencing divorce rates among older people are longer life expectancies, more economic resources for women and changing attitudes about retirement.

Because people are living longer than they used to, some may decide to divorce because they don't want to spend a few more decades in an unhappy marriage. Older women may be more likely to file for divorce now because they have more economic stability than they did in the past. Some people say that attitudes about retirement and life in general have changed, and people only want to invest their time and energy in marriages that they find meaningful.

When a person goes through a divorce later in life, there may be a lot of financial assets and property to sort through. While child custody is unlikely to be an issue, the property division stage could become contentious when the couple has been together for decades. An attorney can often help a divorcing client in making an inventory of all jointly-owned property and perhaps obtaining appraisals if necessary in order to come to an equitable agreement.

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