Berman & Asbel, LLP

Divorce rates vary among different generations

Divorce is on the decline for younger adults in Pennsylvania and throughout the country, but that may not be the case for their parents and grandparents. Since the 1990s, divorces among people over 50 years of age have increased by about twice as much. In 1990, only five out of every 1,000 married people older than 50 divorced while in 2015, that number increased to 10. Divorce among people over 65 years old has increased at an even higher rate although the actual figure is lower. In 2015, six out of 1,000 people over 65 years of age got divorced, and this number was three times higher than it was in the 1990s.

Overall, the divorce rate for people over 50 years old is twice that of their younger counterparts. While the rate has sharply increased since the 1990s, this age group has not experienced a significant change since 2008. The number of divorces increased among those in the 40-to-49 age group from 18 per 1,000 in 1990 to 21 per 1,000 in 2015, but it has decreased among adults aged 25-to-39.

The lower divorce rate among younger people is attributed to them deciding to wait to marry until later in life while the higher divorce rate in older people is associated with a higher pattern of marital instability among baby boomers. Subsequent marriages are even more likely to fail than first ones.

Regardless of a person's age, divorce can be a difficult experience. Divorcing people's concerns may differ depending on their stages of lives. For example, younger people are likely to have children and be concerned about custody and support. Older individuals may be more focused on dividing assets; however, if it is a second or third marriage, they might have prenuptial agreements in place. Individuals considering getting divorced may want to consult with lawyers about the specifics of their situations.

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