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U.S. Divorce Rate Dropping, Gray Divorce on the Rise: What Women Need to Know

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneysAccording to a new study, the divorce rate in America is at a 40-year low. There is one exception, however. Couples reaching the age of retirement have a rate that is nearly double what it was just two decades ago. What is the reason for this trend, and what does it mean for the Baby Boomer generation?

Divorce Rates Compared – Older Americans versus Middle-Aged and Younger Americans

Back in 1980, divorce reached an all-time high of 23 divorces per 1,000 married women. Fast forward a little more than 30 years, where the rates have been on a slow but steady decline. In 2014, it was 17.6 per 1,000 women, and the 2015 rates were even lower – 16.9 per 1,000 women. That brings the overall divorce rate to a 40-year low. However, the rate of divorce has been on a sharp increase among older Americans – the Baby Boomers who grew up in a very different era.

When the Baby Boomers were younger, families were culturally expected to stay together regardless of hardships, and many did so to benefit their children. Now, with the kids grown and retirement fast approaching, many are realizing that they do not want to live what is left of their life with the same person. The longer lifespan, improved health in the later years, and better financial stability for women (one of the first generations to work outside the home) are all thought to contribute to the desire to live life to its fullest during the retirement years. Unfortunately, there are some potential pitfalls to divorcing at this stage.

Understanding the Possible Risks of a Gray Divorce

Although women of the Baby Boomer generation were among some of the first to work outside the home, they often received lower pay than their male counterparts. As a result, their savings for retirement are often less. This can put them at serious risk for financial troubles after divorce. Further compounding the problem is the fact that they and their spouse likely only accounted for one home and one set of expenses when planning for their retirement. Paired with the decreased amount of time for financial recovery, this can put both male and female gray divorcees at risk. Thankfully, there are some ways to mitigate the risks. An experienced divorce lawyer can help.

Contact an Illinois Divorce Lawyer

If you are planning on filing for divorce and are nearing retirement age, contact an experienced Naperville divorce lawyer. Our skilled team will work to protect your interests and help you develop a plan that will hopefully satisfy all parties involved. To learn more, schedule a free consultation by calling 630-352-2240 today.


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