Baby Boomers Currently Divorcing More Than Any Other Age Group

Once a marriage has survived for 20 years - through all its difficulties, after raising children and building a career - one would think the marriage could survive anything. Yet baby boomers are increasingly getting divorced, even if the marriage has lasted 20 years or more.

A study by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University found the rate of divorce for people over 50 has doubled. Also, according to recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, a quarter of all current divorces are for marriages that lasted longer than 20 years.

What accounts for the rise in divorce for this generation? Life changes for those about to enter their golden years can prompt a re-evaluation of their marriage. No longer with children in the house and extensive demands on their time, baby boomer couples are realizing that they haven't worked on their marriage in a long time. A lack of communication among spouses or even a midlife crises can contribute to the breakup of the marriage.

In addition, men and women who previously would have been reluctant to file for divorce because of social or religious stigma have fewer restrictions in pursuing divorce.

Another potential reason for "gray divorce" is that each spouse is more likely to be self-supporting and financially secure. Unlike some in the wake of the Great Recession, baby boomers may have the financial assets that come with a lifetime of work. Many baby boomers do not need to stay together just to get by on a day-to-day basis.

The Divorce Process for Baby Boomers

In some cases divorce can be less contentious for those in their 50s and 60s. A desire for mutual attendance at family events, promoting the well-being of the family, as well as wanting to simply move on, can all make the process smoother. Mediation may be an option for a divorcing couple wishing to split amicably. If there are traditional divorce proceedings, baby boomers may be able to look sensibly at finances to decide the best choices for moving forward.

Filing for divorce is a significant decision. Consult a family law attorney if you are considering a divorce to determine your options and discuss your situation.