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Are Pennsylvania baby boomers driving up divorce rate?

The baby boom has had lasting effects on American demographics, and as boomers continue to age, their choices continue to drive statistics in a number of arenas. In particular, boomers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere have significantly impacted trending in marriage and divorce. That influence continues to be felt as many boomers are divorcing later in life.

In part, the recent trend toward 'gray divorce' can be attributed to the choices made by older Americans. Some studies assert that between 1990 and 2012, divorce rates among adults over the age of 50 have more than doubled. In 1990, there were approximately 4.9 divorces for every 1,000 married persons age 50 or older. In 2010, that number sat at 10 divorces per 1,000 people.

When examined using filters of racial/ethnic makeup, length of marriage, income or education, the divorce rates vary for older Americans - just as they do for younger people who divorce. People with a college education and who were employed or retired had lower rates of divorce than those without a degree or were unemployed. In particular, African-Americans have significantly higher rates of divorce than other groups.

While the reasons behind boomer divorces are as varied as any other group, the types of issues that must be dealt with during the divorce process are very different for older Americans. Many times, there are more assets to be divided, insurance issues to address and retirement income to consider. These and other concerns make it imperative for older Pennsylvania and elsewhere to ensure that they have solid legal and financial advice before moving forward with a late life divorce.

Source: Huffington Post, "Are baby boomers still pushing up the divorce rate?" Robert Hughes, Jr., Nov. 2, 2012

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