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Baby Boomer Divorce Rates Double

Increasing Divorce Rates

As we enter a new year, it’s interesting to look at trends in family law and divorce rates. Divorce rates have generally stabilized across most demographics over the last several decades. One exception to this trend is the baby boomer generation, whose divorce rates are on the rise. In fact divorce rates among couples over 50 have doubled in the last 20 years, according to a Bowling Green University study. In 1990 less than 10% of divorces were from this age group. As of 2012, up to 40% of divorces were from this demographic. Additionally, within this age range black couples had the highest divorce rates, with white couples having the lowest and hispanics being in the middle between the two.

Are divorce rates increasing?

There are several potential factors leading to this trend of middle-aged divorce. One of them is increased lifespan, which involves individuals marrying more than once in their lives. The rate for those divorcing from their second or third marriage is 2.5 times that of first marriages. Many people have higher expectations of their marriage and divorce is a viable alternative to staying in a situation where someone isn’t happy.

One potential silver lining to this divorce trend is that many of these divorces from middle-aged couples are more amicable than the average divorce. After spending decades together and often having already raised the children and have them out of the house, there is less to fight over and be concerned with in terms of normal issues arising in divorce.