More older Americans choose divorce.

The face of divorce for people in North Carolina and around the country may be a young couple. However, it is becoming increasingly common for couples in the baby boomer generation and older to choose divorce. Since 1990, the divorce rate among Americans aged 50 and up has doubled. In the same period, the same rate for people aged 65 and older has tripled. There is a wide range of factors that can contribute to this seemingly surprising fact about older Americans’ marital relationships.

Divorce is more common and widely accepted among families and in society than it was in the past. Therefore, family members’ experience with relatives’ divorces can affect their likelihood of ending their own marriages. Women with divorced parents are 60 percent more likely to choose divorce themselves while the men with parents who legally split are 35 percent more apt to do the same.

In marriages among all age groups, people who have remarried for a second or third time are more likely to divorce again. Remarried couples are 2.5 times more likely to choose to separate. In addition, people who have been married for a short amount of time are more likely to break up than those who have been together for decades. There are also life changes and transitions that can put stress on an older couple. When children leave the house, and people retire from work, existing incompatibilities can rise to the surface.

People who decide to divorce later in life may be particularly concerned about the implications of property division. Retirement funds are often the largest asset of any married couple, but they are particularly critical for people near or at retirement age. A family law attorney can work with a divorcing individual to represent his or her interests in a range of divorce legal issues.

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