Why Are So Many Baby Boomers Getting a Divorce?

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Divorce after 50 | Hemet, CA AttorneyWe’ve all heard friends, family, and the media talking about the rate of divorce. For years, the divorce rate hovered around 50 percent, and the “’til death do us part” section of marriage vows weren’t taken literally.

Now, according to CNN, there is renewed hope for marriage—for some. For most age groups, the divorce rate has fallen to 40 percent. But for baby boomers, however, the rate of divorce has actually risen to 50 percent.

You might think this is counterintuitive. After all, marriages are supposed to be more likely to weather life’s storms after the first seven to ten years. Make it past that benchmark, common wisdom says, and you’re set.

So why are older Americans getting divorced in droves, and what does this mean for today’s 20- and 30-somethings?

In the article, the author gives the opinion that the increasing divorce rate among baby boomers doesn’t necessarily mean today’s youngsters will get divorced in 20 years: “Boomers’ unique social history may make them more divorce-prone than other groups.”

According to the article, baby boomers have experienced “decades of relationship innovation” due to changing ideas about gender roles and marriage. This has made them more prone to divorce than previous generations. Today’s 20 and 30-somethings, however, more resemble the parents of the baby boomer generation in terms of ideas on marriage.

They’ve seen—and often been the product of—divorce, and they are more reluctant to subject their kids to the same thing. Just 54 percent of younger adults say that divorce is preferable to staying in an unhappy marriage, compared with 66 percent of baby boomers.

They’ve experienced an unstable economy, unlike many of their parents, and are more aware of the financial consequences of divorce.

Finally, they are waiting to get married. Statistically, people who get married later in life have a lower risk of divorce, as they are more mature, more settled in their career path, and more aware of what they want out of a relationship.

If you are a baby boomer thinking of getting a divorce, you’re not alone. I encourage  you to talk to a Hemet divorce attorney to find out what your options are and whether or not divorce may be the best option for you.

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About Julie Clark

Julie M. Clark graduated from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law. She has been practicing law in Riverside County since February of 1992. Julie Clark's Google+ Profile

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