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Divorce rate rises for those over 50

Lately, there has been a noticeable uptick in the rate of divorce for those over the age 50. In Pennsylvania and elsewhere, there are a number of factors that have been attributed to this rise in divorce after 50. There are also unique consequences for those divorcing at an older age compared to those who split younger and after a shorter marriage.

Around 50 years, when divorce rates were lower for all age groups, only 2.8 percent of people over 50 in America were divorced. That number jumped to 11.8 percent in 2000. The latest data, cited in a census in 2011, says 15.4 percent of people over 50 were divorced. A recent report says the number has doubled since 1990.

The rise in divorce affects older Americans differently as their children are often grown, and they may both be financially independent or even at the end stages of their careers ready for retirement. The financial implications can also make divorce 50 more complicated as couples may have shared retirement accounts or both be supported by government. With people living longer, couples may have decades left to spend in healthy relationships rather than staying married to the person they raised children with.

The reasons for the increase in divorce over 50 are as varied as any reason people divorce. However, being aware of the differences that older divorce may pose for Pennsylvania couples can help couples navigate this next chapter of their lives. Any divorce that can be handled in a fair, peaceful and equitable way can make the process more amicable regardless of age.

Source: nytimes.com, Divorce After 50 Grows More Common, Sam Roberts, Sept. 20, 2013

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