Divorce rates in Arizona and across the country for the general population
have stabilized over the past several decades, but not for those ages
50 and over. The baby boomer divorce rate has nearly doubled in the last
twenty years, according to a study by Bowling Green University. In 1990,
fewer than one in ten people who divorced were 50 or over. In 2009, that
figure was one in four.
Why are baby boomers, those persons born between the years 1946 and 1964,
divorcing in record numbers? Divorce experts believe that a number of
factors could be contributing to the ‘booming’ baby boomer
One factor in the
divorce rate is that people are living longer, healthier lives than in the past.
When people retire at 60 or 65, they can live another 20-30 years, and
if they are not happy in their current marriage, divorce is a viable alternative.
Then there is the reason that many couples stay in an unhappy marriage:
to create a more stable life for their children. Many baby boomer couples
stayed together for their children’s sakes, and now that those children
are grown and out of the home, these couples are ending their unhappy
Another factor that can lead to an increase in the divorce rate is that
women are more educated and independent today and have more of an opportunity
to start new lives without worrying about financial issues. These women
are more self-confident in living alone, and, many times, prefer to live
alone. Being more financially secure than divorcing couples in the past,
means that both former spouses can live comfortable lives after the divorce.
Baby boomer couples going through the divorce process are being more practical
in their divorces, and are looking for alternatives to the standard divorce,
in that they are trying to bring an end to their marriage in a less destructive
way. Many couples are using arbitration and collaborative law to make
the divorce process as friendly and stress free as possible.