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More Couples over Age 50 are Divorcing

Some might say that divorce is at epidemic levels in the United States. We’ve all heard the statistic that 50 percent of marriages end up in divorce — and while, in actuality, this figure is a misrepresentation, the truth is that America’s divorce rates are the highest in the world. Additionally, older couples are divorcing more and more frequently. So why is this number increasing? And what can spouses do to protect themselves in the long term?

The recent study released by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University revealed that the rate of divorce among people over 50 years old doubled between 1990 and 2010, and that 25 percent of all divorces in 2010 occurred to couples in that age demographic. Some conclusions the study draws include the following:

  • More couples are divorcing earlier in life and remarrying, and the divorce rate for those in second or subsequent marriages is 2.5 times higher than the divorce rate of couples in first marriages
  • As the population ages, divorce has become a more socially accepted practice
  • Longer life expectancies have increased the likelihood that a couple divorces before one spouse passes away

Financial protection in a divorce

As divorce rates are on the rise among older Americans, it is increasingly important to consider the potential for divorce before entering into marriage. This is particularly crucial for those who have been previously married, those with significant assets and those with children.

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