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Divorce increasing for older people in Ohio and elsewhere

Readers in Ohio may be surprised to hear that the number of members of the baby boomer generation seeking to end their marriages in divorce is increasing. In fact, one in three boomers is currently single. In addition, some 20 percent of all divorce filings in our country come from couples that are over the age of 50.

Many of those who are seeking a divorce in Ohio and elsewhere across the nation are ending not their first marriages, but rather a second union. A recent report notes that a second marriage is more than 2.5 times as likely as a first marriage to end in divorce. This is because, in part, baby boomers experienced high divorce rates during previous decades such as the 1970s and 1980s. During these times, younger boomers ended marriages due to changing gender roles.

Now, some may be seeking a divorce because of changing life roles. In addition, a study indicates that increased life spans have led people to reconsider how much time they wish to spend with their spouse. Like their younger counterparts, boomers have many reasons for divorcing.

One of the differences for baby boomers in a divorce is that because of their relatively advanced age, newly single boomers may be unable to recover as well from the financial losses sometimes suffered during dissolution. The costs associated with the process may lead a person to make changes to their retirement plans or re-enter the workforce. Before entering into a divorce, a baby boomer may do well to review the laws applying to the process to ensure that they can exit a marriage through divorce without long-term financial suffering.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "A 'gray divorce' boom," Susan L. Brown, March 30, 2013

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