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Research shows rising rate of divorce for those who are 50-plus

Divorce is a difficult process for people of any age in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania, but certain age groups might have a greater amount of struggle to get through it than others. One age group that could experience a wide range of emotions and have trouble adapting is those 50 and older. Statistics are showing that people in this age range are moving forward with the end of a marriage twice as frequently as they did during the 1990s.

This information stems from research by the Pew Research Center using statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Health Center for Health Statistics. In 2015, 10 out of 1,000 married people age 50 and older got a divorce. In 1990, it was half that number. For people age 65 and older, the number of people who were divorce tripled in that same time span, with six people for every 1,000 getting divorced.

These have been referred to as "gray divorces." It is affected by the "Baby Boomer" generation getting older, as they range between 51 and 69. Baby Boomers tended to have a high rate of divorce when they were younger. Since they are older and remarrying and remarriages tend to be more prone to divorce, it is believed to a be linked to the number of gray divorces. People who are 50 years of age and older and who have remarried are divorcing at twice the rate of those who were married once. For 48 percent of people 50 and older who got divorced in 2015, it was not their first marriage.

In the timeframe of the study, the number of people between the ages of 40 and 49 who divorced rose from 18 out of 1,000 to 21 out of 1,000. People age 25 to 39 was a group that had a reduction in divorces, from 30 out of 1,000 in 1990 to 24 out of 1,000 in 2015. This is, in part, believed to be due to people choosing to wait before getting married. Divorce at any age can be difficult, but for those who are older, the emotions can be overwhelming. Those who are having a dispute with their spouse and are considering ending their marriage, particularly at an older age, need to be aware of the litany of issues that may arise in a divorce.

Source: patch.com, "Divorce Rate For People 50 And Older Has Doubled Since 1990: Pew," Michael Lello, March 9, 2017

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