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Pennsylvania divorce rate on rapid rise for people 50 and older

For many years, it was assumed that the longer a couple stayed together, the less likely they would be to go through a divorce. While that still may be true for many couples, a recent study found that those individuals 50 years and older are getting divorced at a much higher rate than 20 years ago. And, given that many older Pennsylvania couples will be facing a wide range of issues as they continue to age, a divorce may be a little more complex than if they had filed 20 years earlier.

As we referenced in our blog post on July 5 ("Collaborative divorce for baby boomers?"), the divorce rate of people over 50 doubled over the time period from 1990 to 2010. However, what is interesting about this figure is that for the same time period, the overall divorce rate across the country remained stable. The report did not indicate why there was an increase in divorces among older individuals.

As a couple ages, their physical and mental health continues to be a prevalent issue. A divorce at an older age may also cause adult children to be put into a more precarious situation as they try and continue their relationship with both parents. It was reported that fathers were at the highest risk for suffering serious relationship issues with their children as a result of a divorce.

The trend of higher rates of divorce for those reaching retirement age may seem concerning to some. However, for many Pennsylvania residents, their filing of a petition for divorce has been a long time coming. Due to the potential for complex financial issues as a result of the accumulation of assets over the course of the marriage, the couple may benefit from charting a course in their divorce that ensures the financial protection of both as they move forward with their new lives.

Source: Huffington Post, "Are Baby Boomers Still Pushing Up the Divorce Rate?" Robert Hughes, Jr., Nov. 2, 2012

1 Comment

in my own practice I have noticedthat my divorce clients seem to be getting older. I assumed this had more to do with my own age than anything else. In other words, an older client will feel more comfortable with an older lawyer.but apparently there is somewhat of a statistical trend in this direction. I would be curious what the likely social logical causes are of the trend.

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