Baby boomer divorce rate rises across the country

Baby boomers have always seemed to march to their own drummer and that often-cited point appears to have been proved again, this time on the subject of divorce. At a time when marital dissolutions in Arizona and across the country appear to have leveled off, the over-50 crowd is confronting divorce on record levels. Over 20 years ago in 1990, just one in 10 couples over the age of 50 chose divorce. As recently as 2009, that figure was one in four couples.

Why? Longer life spans are considered to be part of the equation. Now, when someone retires at the age of 60 or 65, they may well have a quarter century or more of life to live. That is a long period of time by anyone’s account. If a couple grew apart during the prime working years, some appear to be deciding to choose individual happiness over compromise for the remainder of their life.

There is also a mentality that baby boomers are used to getting what they want. As they enter their later years, it appears that what they want has changed. A joke attributed to a retirement planner suggests the older couples about to retire may think they married for life, but not for lunch. That is, if a couple are not comfortable spending greater amounts of time together after retirement, divorce may be a viable option.

And it appears that some baby boomer couples have gone about the process by choosing a collaborative divorce. Essentially, that means they worked together to achieve what they both wanted while trying to reach a settlement agreement that was fair to both of them. And therein might be an important lesson for all us, with baby boomers once again leading the way: An Arizona divorce does not have to be spiteful, and it is possible to accomplish in a positive environment.

Source:, “Baby boomer divorce rate doubles,” Greg Clary and Athena Jones, June 24, 2012

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