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New divorce trend: divorce after 50 increasing

In news that may surprise some individuals, divorces amongst those over the age of 50, otherwise known as "gray divorces," have become increasingly more common. While divorce after the age of 50 may have been relatively unheard of in mere decades ago, the trend has been steadily growing. These divorces not only represent a new change in divorce trends, but they also reflect differences in how divorces occur, typing dealing with a related, but slightly different set of considerations than those who divorce at a younger age.

According to a recent study from researchers at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, the number of individual separated through gray divorces now out numbers the amount of individuals who have been widowed. According to their study of the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, approximately 15.4 percent of individuals over the age of 50 are divorces, with another 2.1 percent separated from their spouse. This exceeds the 13.5 percent of individuals who are widowed.

However, this trend is not replicating itself across all divorces. In fact, amongst all other divorces rates tend to be balancing out, and even dropping by some accounts. However, divorces amongst those over the age of 50 have doubles in the years since 1990. Some researchers attribute this growth in divorces to the increasing economic independence of women, as well as the general approval of divorce increasing with cultural shifts.

The study also noted that divorce is most likely amongst individuals with lower educational histories and who have been married for less than 10 years.

However a couple comes to a divorce, they will, in most situations, face the same types of scenarios. However, issues such as child support may not be as large of an issue amongst those over 50, who may be more likely to have adult children. However, issues such as property division and alimony payments remain a major concern that will likely come up during a divorce proceeding. In may be necessary to speak with a legal expert for an in-depth analysis on how property division is likely to occur during a divorce.

Source: New York Times, "Divorce After 50 Grows More Common," Sam Roberts, Sept. 20, 2013

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