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Divorce rising among older people

| Nov 17, 2015 | Divorce |

Decades of marriage is no guarantee that happily ever after will result for California couples. Divorce among people over the age of 50 has doubled since 1990 according to Bowling Green State University researchers.

One sociologist writing for a Council on Contemporary Families online symposium suggested that the reduced social stigma attached to divorce makes it a more acceptable option for senior citizens. The changing American view of marriage could also be contributing to the trend. Higher expectations about deriving personal fulfillment from the friendship of a spouse often make a person unwilling to continue an unsatisfying relationship.

Another sociology professor cited the longer life expectancy of people today as a source of divorce. He said a person at the age of 50 or 60 might not be able to bear the thought of marriage for another 20 or 30 years. The marriage does not have to be horrible to trigger divorce, only lacking in love or meaningful interaction. The frequency of divorce among younger age groups has remained the same or declined slightly. Although research shows that over 50 percent of married people between the ages of 25 and 50 have thought about a divorce, they usually choose to continue nurturing their relationships instead of abandoning them.

A person thinking about divorce at any age needs to grasp the legal consequences of the action. The property division phase, especially for couples who have been married for many years and who have accumulated substantial assets during such time can often be complex and contentious. A family law attorney might be of assistance to a divorcing spouse in negotiating a settlement agreement that can then be presented to the court for its approval.

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