If asked to identify the age groups perhaps most susceptible to divorce, there's a very good chance that people would identify either young couples or middle-aged couples.
While this makes sense when you consider how the relative immaturity of younger couples could make them primary candidates for a split or how the stressors of everyday life (jobs, children, money, etc.) could rapidly take a toll on middle-aged couples, it would nevertheless be a mistake to omit older Americans -- i.e., baby boomers -- from this conversation.
Should baby boomers really be included in this conversation?
Statistics show that as many as one in four Americans currently pursuing a divorce are age 50 and over. Indeed, divorce among baby boomers has grown so commonplace that it's coined the phrase "gray divorce."
If you still have a hard time believing it, consider that a study by researchers at Bowling Green University discovered that the baby boomer divorce rate increased twofold from 1990 to 2010.
Why are so many boomers deciding to call their marriage quits?
According to experts, the rising divorce rate among baby boomers can be attributed to a host of factors from an empty nest to a desire to exit an unhappy marriage. They also point out that many boomers are in their second -- or subsequent -- marriages, which has been linked to historically higher divorce rates.
Does gray divorce present any unique challenges as far as property division is concerned?
Given their age and the fact that economic conditions were generally favorable during their working years, many baby boomers have accumulated significant assets during the course of their marriage. This, of course, includes sizeable retirement accounts, generous pensions and other valuable job-related benefits.
This reality, coupled with the fact that many boomers are already retired and/or have already divorced, can serve to greatly complicate property division matters.
Does gray divorce present any unique challenges as far as personal matters are concerned?
While divorce at any age will result in a range of conflicting emotions, experts indicate that things might be slightly more challenging for baby boomers on a personal and practical level.
Indeed, they may have to become accustomed to living alone after years of sharing a home with another person and, with this new reality, adjust to doing things on their own.
Whether you are a baby boomer who has been served with divorce papers or is interested in pursuing a divorce, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about your rights and your options.