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Divorce rate doubles in 2 decades for couples 50 and older

The National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University has tracked and analyzed U.S. Census Data for the two decades between 1990 and 2010. These researchers found that the data put into hard numbers a trend that many divorce attorneys have noticed, 60 percent according to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Researchers found that during those 20 years, the divorce rate for those in the age group of 50 years or older had doubled. In fact, it has more than doubled from about 1 in 10 divorces in 1990 to 1 in 4 for this age group by the year 2010.

Those are the hard statistics, but what does it mean for those that are actually getting the divorce during this time in life, when many of these couples have been married for a couple of decades themselves? Retirement is a big issue in many of these cases, and plans that were often carefully thought out and well laid need to be adjusted.

Retirement assets are often more than just a 401(k). These assets can include 403(b)s, 457(f)s, Roth IRAs and more. It is vital that spouses hire an attorney that understands the unique issues that retirement assets present, including the steps that must be taken, like a qualified domestic relations order, to ensure that the benefits determined to be divided are properly paid.

Other unique issues faced by those divorcing at this age may include issues surrounding children from a prior marriage, alimony for a spouse that has given up all career opportunities, joint rental properties, joint businesses and a number of other assets that may have become complicated by years of marital contributions.

Source: The Daily News Online, “Suddenly single: Boomers lead the way in silver divorces,” Ana Veciana-Suarez, May 5, 2014

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