Over 50 divorces increasing

Older couples in Arizona and nationwide are ending their marriages in greater numbers than before. Figures gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau showed that about 25 percent of all those getting a divorce in the country in 2010 were over the age of 50. This was a significant increase from 20 years before, in 1990, when it was only about 10 percent of the divorces in the country that were drawn from that age group.

Additionally, obviously, as people age, they have gotten divorced at some point in their lives, in many instances, and many have not gotten remarried, so that a larger proportion of the older population may tend to be divorced, along with many who are widowed or widowers.

Other findings were that those who remarry divorce more often during their lives, that those least likely to get a divorce are those with a higher education, and that African-Americans divorce at a higher rate than Hispanics or whites, including having more divorces over the age of 50.

One factor may also be that people are simply living longer and therefore are less likely to be willing to stay in an unhappy marriage when it is no longer just for a few years more, but instead with the prospects of several decades together looming on the horizon. Older people contemplating divorce may need to take into account the specialized rules about spousal Social Security benefits that spell out how long a marriage has to last before the lower earning spouse is able to claim those benefits on the other spouse’s earning record.

Source: Huffington Post, “Rising Divorce Rates in the 50-Plus Community and What this Means for You” Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Dec. 03, 2013

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