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Divorce rate is still over 50 percent thanks to baby boomers

Some media reports have challenged the long-held belief that half of all marriages end in divorce. They point to several trends, including the fact that the divorce rate has dropped in the past few decades, particularly among young people. Further, people are being more selective in choosing a mate and waiting longer to take the plunge.

College education seems to play a role as well. People with college degrees are 40 percent less likely to divorce than those who didn't finish college.

However, a recent study by sociologists postulates that nearly 53 percent of current marriages will end in divorce. That's largely due to the increase in divorce among baby boomers. The divorce rate among those between 55 and 64 has doubled since 1990 and among people 65 and older, it's tripled.

There are a number of reasons for this. Likely, many saw their parents stay in unhappy marriages because divorce was less common and more difficult to get when they were growing up. Female baby boomers are more likely to work outside the home than their mothers, so they can be more easily financially independent without a husband. Finally, people are just living longer. One sociologist notes that "there's more motivation to get divorced, because there's a lot of life left to be lived."

The sociologists behind the study say that while they can't predict whether today's Generation Xers and millennials will follow the same pattern as those in their parents' generation and increasingly divorce as they get older. However, they seem to believe that they will.

While people who divorce in their middle and later years generally don't have the challenges of dealing with child custody and support that younger couples often have, they do face unique issues when dividing their assets. These include dealing with retirement savings, Social Security benefits, investment accounts, large incomes, businesses and potentially multiple properties. Florida family law attorneys help people work to get the best possible settlement so that they can move on to the next chapter of their lives without serious financial concerns.

Source: Santa Fe New Mexican, "Baby boomers keeping divorce rate at 53%," Ben Steverman, Bloomberg News, June 17, 2016

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