In Minnesota and across the country, divorce is on the rise among the baby boomer generation. Since 1990, the divorce rate has doubled among Americans age 50 and over. During the same period, the rate has tripled among people 65 years old and above. These statistics are in contrast to the fact that the divorce rate has remained stable or even declined among individuals across all demographic groups. There are a number of factors that contribute to the growing phenomenon that has been termed “gray divorce.”

For starters, divorce is more socially acceptable than it was in the past, and closeness to other divorced people can affect family members’ decisions. The daughters of divorced parents are 60 percent more likely to divorce themselves while the sons of parents who split are 35 percent more likely to do the same. However, many of the reasons for older people divorcing reflect the fact that people are marrying differently as well. Even among the over 65 age group, individuals in short-term marriages are more likely to split up than those who have been together for decades. In addition, people who have been married once before are 2.5 times more likely to divorce.

There are also social phenomena that focus particularly on older couples. When the children leave home, and people leave work for retirement, incompatibilities below the surface can be revealed. Marriages that were already unhappy could be more likely to come to an end when there are fewer external factors holding the couple together.

In many cases, older people who are thinking about getting divorced may be concerned about the financial repercussions. Retirement funds are among the most important assets of any couple, especially those close to or at retirement age. A family law attorney can work with a divorcing spouse to achieve a fair settlement on a range of issues, including property division and spousal support.