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Divorce rates for older adults

Divorce is becoming more common for individuals in Massachusetts and around the country who are 50 or older. According to the National Center for Health Statistics and the United States Census Bureau, the 2015 divorce rate for individuals in that age group was 10 per every 1,000 married persons, an increase from five per every 1,000 in 1990.

The rise in the divorce rate is partly attributed to the fact that baby boomers make up a majority of the age group. Baby boomers had extremely high levels of divorce during their young adult years. The instability in marriage that occurred earlier in their lives is contributing to the increasing divorce rate for adults who are 50 years old or older today as remarriages are generally less stable than first marriages.

The divorce rate for remarried adults 50 or older is twice the rate of those who have been married only once. Among all adults 50 years or older who sought a divorce in 2015, 48 percent had been in a marriage that had been at least their second. Adults in the same age group also have a higher rate of divorce if they have been married for a shorter length of time. For those who had been married less than 10 years in 2015, the divorce rate was 21 people per 1,000 married persons. For those who had been married for 20 to 29 years, the divorce rate was only 13 per 1,000.

A family law attorney should be consulted by individuals who are seeking a divorce. Older individuals who are divorcing may have special concerns, such as the favorable resolution of alimony and property division issues, particularly if they are near retirement.

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