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Divorce rates rising for people 50 and older

Divorce is not just the province of younger Colorado couples. Demographers have identified an upward trend in divorces among older people, defined as age 50 and over. The reasons contributing to this increase appear to be the higher incidence of second marriages among older individuals as well as long-term dissatisfaction with a marriage that has existed for decades.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Center for Health Statistics indicated that in 1990 five couples age 50 and over divorced per every 1,000. By 2015, the rate had risen to 10 divorces per 1,000 marriages. As of 2015, members of the baby boom generation had reached the ages of 51 to 69. This generation tended to have a high divorce rate when they were young, which placed many of them within second or higher marriages. Subsequent marriages tend to be less stable and more prone to divorce than first marriages.

People within their first marriages, however, have still sought divorces in larger numbers. Data collected from the previous year showed that 34 percent of the divorces among people 50 and over occurred to people in marriages that had endured for at least 30 years. People who ended long marriages cited a lack of satisfaction with their marriages and a desire for independence.

A person who has chosen to end a marriage later in life might have many issues to consider during the divorce, such as how to divide real estate and retirement accounts. Spousal support might also arise as an issue. A family law attorney could advise the client about rights to certain assets and the tax consequences of receiving them. The attorney could then take the lead in negotiating a settlement agreement.

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Cooper, Tanis & Armas, P.C.
42 Garden Center
Broomfield, CO 80020