Study: For older couples, the divorce rate is rising

A new study shows that the divorce rate for people over the age of 50 is rising but this can bring new challenges for them.

As couples in Florida grow older, their interests and lives change. Some women who gave up promising careers to raise children now want to reenter that world. Some couples find that they no longer have anything in common. Others may have been so wrapped up in raising their family, that they lost the ability to communicate with each other.

Looking at divorce trends

Given the lengthened lifespans that people now have, it may not be surprising that a new study reveals the divorce rate for people over the age of 50 is rising. The study, conducted by Bowling Green State University, looked at divorce records for the country. The number of people over 50 who filed for divorce in 2011 numbered at over 1 in 4 people; over 28 percent of all divorces that occurred that year. However, the divorce rate for the same age group was 1 in 10 eleven years earlier.

The numbers showed that the divorce rate had gone up by 50 percent and the numbers are expected to continue to grow.

Financial challenges

Older people can face a number of challenges when they go through a divorce and one of those challenges is finances. AARP points out that 20 percent of women who go through one will experience poverty. Household investments and savings account to less than $25,000. When a divorce occurs, people that relied on two incomes must now live on one income and for those dependent on the other spouse, they will now have to figure out how to support themselves.

Retirement could be delayed

Retirement plans are subject to division when a couple divorces, and this means that some people may have to put off retirement as they rebuild their retirement plan. According to USA Today, people may have to make several decisions such as the following:

  • Whether to give the kids money so they can buy a house or pay for an expensive wedding
  • Sell the family home and buy something smaller
  • Cut the amount of inheritance the kids receive
  • Nix all of the travel plans

Additionally, people may have to give up luxury items like eating out or club memberships.

Emotional distress and health issues

Divorce is always a traumatic event for people, but for those who have been in a long-term marriage, they may have a more difficult time adjusting to being alone. Depression may set in and this can lead to additional health problems such as digestive disorders, headaches and eating problems. In turn, this can place additional strain on adult children as they try to help their parent through the process.

When people in Sarasota have decided to call it quits, they may have several concerns over what comes next. They might find it helpful to meet with an experienced attorney who can assist them with making a plan of action.