retirement plans

Divorce over 50 — Division of marital property more complex

Although statistics suggest that the rate of divorce may be stabilizing across the US, one demographic is experiencing growing divorce rates. It appears that Americans aged 50 and older in Massachusetts and elsewhere are turning to divorce more now than ever before. A professor at a leading university asserts that in 1990, less than one out of every ten people who filed for divorce were age 50 or older; today, that number has skyrocketed to one in four. Although the reasons for filing for divorce at a later age may differ for each individual, older adults who are ending their marriages share some commonalities. One is a more complex division of marital property, as each partner may have accumulated a diverse set of assets over the course of their lives. Sociologists believe that there are many factors that lead older Americans to seek divorce. Many have stayed in lackluster marriages as their children grew up, believing that prolonging the split would be easier on their children. Another factor could be a new approach on aging, suggesting that 50 may in fact be the new 30. One researcher at East Longmeadow points out that Americans aged 50 and older are much more active than in previous generations. Additionally, more women are now engaged within the workforce, and are no longer financially dependent upon their husbands for financial stability. The American Association of Retired Persons supports this theory, pointing out that women over the age 50 initiate divorce more often than men.

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