A notable American family law phenomenon: baby boomer divorce

| May 6, 2021 | Divorce |

People who know a thing or two about family law developments in Minnesota and nationally might confidently assert the following views regarding perceived realities that mark the territory.

First, divorce is far from being a rare or controversial process.

Indeed, that is true. Taboos and anti-dissolution views that were once prevalent in bygone eras have progressively eroded over the years and been supplanted by widespread social acceptance that not every marriage is destined for sustained bliss.

That is, there now exists widespread acknowledgement that many unions are simply not meant to last.  In many instances, they can thankfully end in reasoned fashion, with exes realizing that failed partnerships can be successfully followed by a fresh start and meaningful post-divorce life.

And here’s that second view, which is a commonplace observation: Despite the prevalence of divorce in American life, it is still a seminal event that plays out primarily in the lives of relatively young married people. Older couples tend to be comparatively conservative regarding change and remain somewhat resistant to the idea of ending a marriage.

Here’s a required insertion concerning that second belief, which might come as a material surprise to many readers: It is a wholly inaccurate assessment.

In fact, notes one established Minnesota legal source on family law and divorce matters, “The divorce rate for individuals over the age of 50 is on the rise in America.”

Actually, it is skyrocketing and at a level unmatched by any other age demographic. A recent national article spotlighting so-called “gray divorce underscores its “booming” nature for more mature couples. Research indicates that their dissolution rate “has roughly doubled since the 1990s.”

Why the material uptick in baby boomer divorces?

The above-cited article points to a number of catalysts driving the surge of divorce activity among the 50-plus married crowd. Here are some prominent factors, many of which are especially relevant for women:

  • The aforementioned progressive acceptance toward ending a failed relationship (“reduced divorce stigma”)
  • Longer female life expectancy (many women in unhappy marriages can reasonably contemplate a more meaningful post-divorce life that might span decades)
  • Empty-nest syndrome (many couples stay intact solely for the kids, who in baby boomer families are now mostly out of the house and independent)
  • Undeniable impact of the unprecedented health pandemic, which has magnified and intensified marital challenges for legions of couples across myriad fronts

Gray divorce can spawn some formidable challenges, yet it also offers inviting opportunities linked with a fresh start following the end of marriage. A proven and empathetic family law attorney can provide further information and diligent representation aimed at securing an optimal outcome for a divorce client.