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The baby-boom generation is experiencing a boom in "gray divorce"

As the baby-boom generation ages, the number of divorces among people over age 50 is also increasing.
BRIDGEWATER, NJ, May 24, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- The baby-boom generation is experiencing a boom in "gray divorce"
As the baby-boom generation ages, the number of divorces among people over age 50 is also increasing. When divorcing at an older age, it is important to understand some of unique implications of divorce later in life, as the challenges and opportunities faced by those going through so-called "gray divorce" are different than those experienced by younger couples.
Study finds that baby-boomers buck the general divorce trend
Researchers from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green University recently studied divorce among people age 50 and older and presented their findings in a paper called The Gray Divorce Revolution. Their study found that, even though the overall divorce rate in America has been declining since the 1980s, among people age 50 and older, the divorce rate has actually doubled.
The researchers analyzed data from the 1990 U.S. Vital Statistics Report and a 2009 survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The data showed that, in 1990, one in 10 people who got a divorce were age 50 or older, but in 2009, the number had increased to about one in four. In 2009 alone, more than 600,000 people age 50 and older got divorced, and the researchers predict that number will rise to about 800,000 divorces in 2030, according to the Wall Street Journal.
A number of factors likely contribute to the rising rate of divorce among older couples, including new lives as empty nesters and the fact that people are living decades longer than previous generations. Couples who stayed together for the children may now find that duty is done, or they may find their interests no longer align as they look ahead to how they will spend the coming years.
Special considerations in divorce later in life
When getting divorced later in life, there are several unique considerations. First, it can be difficult to grow one's resources or re-enter the workforce at an older age, so the division of marital property and the financial settlement in divorce are especially important. Many younger individuals view receiving the marital home as an advantage when raising children. However, an empty nester who receives the home may not be able to afford it or desire to live in a larger home, and it may be challenging to sell the home in a still-recovering housing market.
In addition, there may be significant assets in retirement accounts, but one should carefully consider the tax implications of distributions from these accounts, as taxes could take away large portions of them. Receiving more liquid assets in the marital property division is often desirable and can give an individual greater flexibility.
If you are thinking about getting a divorce and are wondering how it may affect your future, contact an experienced divorce attorney for more information.
Leonard A. Weitzman: Helping You Through the Divorce Process in New Jersey. To arrange your initial divorce consultation at my Bridgewater office, please call (908) 333-4198. I will respond promptly to your inquiry.
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