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Considerations for divorcees 50 years of age and older

It was recently reported that the group experiencing the largest surge in divorce rates in America are those over the age of 50. As we discussed in a previous blog, the divorce rate for Americans over the age of 50 doubled between 1990 and 2009. Maryland couples who fall into this age bracket and are considering filing for divorce may wish to take note.

That rate of doubling didn't just apply to younger members of the 50 and older crowd. It actually carried through to married couples over the age of 65. Overall, however, divorce numbers are still higher among the younger baby boomers.

Research from previous studies suggests several potential reasons for the doubling trend. These include the fact that we have a higher population of older people now, the fact that divorce is more socially acceptable these days and the sheer cumulative effect of divorce becoming more common. Also, the fact that women are enjoying greater levels of equality and financial independence may be a factor, as well as the apparent belief among baby boomers that they should pursue more fulfilling lives, even if that should result in divorce.

Maryland couples over the age of 50 may want to consider three basic steps should it come time to file for divorce at this stage in life. First and foremost, each spouse should take steps to protect themselves financially. Secondly, each spouse should let their heads guide their actions, rather than simply giving in to emotions. Thirdly, divorcing spouses should be practical. While divorce can cause feelings of uncertainty for some couples, it can eventually lead to greater satisfaction in life no matter at what age it occurs.

Source:, "Financial Safeguards Needed as Senior Divorces Soar," Philip Moeller, July 6, 2012

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