Divorce rates have steadied throughout the country, but according to Bowling Green’s National Center for Family & Marriage Research, they are on the rise among baby boomers. Couples over 50 in 2010 were more than twice as likely to divorce than couples of the same age in 1990.
The Bowling Green study found that women were more likely to still be working full-time between the ages of 50 and 74 if they were divorced later in life. They also found that women in more stable marriages tended to be more poorly prepared for the financial impact of divorce than women that were in bad marriages. According to a research paper by the Social Security Administration in 2012, 22 percent of divorced women over 80 are living in poverty. This was compared to 15 percent of women that age who were widowed and 17 percent who never married.
One significant factor for women is that they continue to be more likely to stay at home to care for children. This means that their earning power is often lessened when they do reenter the labor market.
As devastating as a divorce may be, the aftermath may be just as difficult if a person is unable to secure themselves financially, and he or she might want to discuss this with their attorney. A lawyer may be able to offer advice about how best to proceed based on a person’s needs. For example, if a woman has been out of the workforce for a long time caring for children, she might be able to get spousal support while she trains for a new career.