Baby Boomer Divorces – a Rising Trend

Boomers seeking divorce more than ever as they age

We’ve been seeing a rise in the number of baby boomers coming into divorce court over the past few years, and now a study is confirming that it’s not just a trend in the Dayton area. How common is it? Take a look at these figures from the Wall Street Journal’s coverage of the study:

For the new generation of empty-nesters, divorce is increasingly common. Among people ages 50 and older, the divorce rate has doubled over the past two decades, according to new research by sociologists Susan Brown and I-Fen Lin of Bowling Green State University, whose paper, “The Gray Divorce Revolution,” Prof. Brown will present at Ohio State University this April. The paper draws on data from the 1990 U.S. Vital Statistics Report and the 2009 American Community Survey, administered by the U.S. Census Bureau, which asked all respondents if they’d divorced in the past 12 months.

Though overall national divorce rates have declined since spiking in the 1980s, “gray divorce” has risen to its highest level on record, according to Prof. Brown. In 1990, only one in 10 people who got divorced was 50 or older; by 2009, the number was roughly one in four. More than 600,000 people ages 50 and older got divorced in 2009.

Of course the particulars of divorce vary greatly between age brackets, and boomer divorces often have a host of complicating factors, including children, pets, joint property and shared debt, just to name a few. If you’re part of this generation and considering divorce, make sure your attorney is well-versed in the particular issues you face – it could make all the difference.