Study shows divorce rising among older people

A new study shows that older people are getting divorced at a higher rate and this can create special challenges.

Divorce has become quite common for people living in the Denver area and this includes older people too. In fact, a recent study shows that divorce is rising among older people and this can create some unique challenges for those who are deciding to call it quits after living together for many years.

Double the rate

The study, conducted by sociologists at Bowling Green State University showed that over a 20-year period, spanning from 1990 to 2010, the divorce rate among people over the age of 50 actually increased by 100 percent. The reasons for the increase were not looked at in the study but some speculate that the longer lifespan, the growing independence of women and the social acceptability of divorce have all played a part. The study also showed that second and third marriages were more likely to end in divorce than an original marriage.

Retirement changes

USA Today points out that one effect of getting divorced at an older age is that people's retirement plans will usually have to change. For some people, this may mean curtailing extra luxuries and downsizing to a smaller home while for others it means they have to work longer before retiring. The costs of retirement are going to naturally increase since the plans will have to cover two separate lifestyles. Parents may have to decide not to pay for their adult children's weddings or provide their children with an inheritance to make the retirement last longer.

Spousal support more likely

For older spouses who were financially dependent on the other, the likelihood that they will be awarded spousal support is much higher. This is especially true for couples where one spouse is still working, according to U.S. News & World Report. However, judges usually take several things into consideration to ensure that the other spouse will not be left financially strapped.

Budget crunch

A divorce is always going to have a large impact on the budget and for older couples, this may be even greater. Usually the couple owns a home, which will be kept by one spouse or sold. If the family home is sold, this will require spouses to find a new place that they can financially afford. The new financial situation may be such that the spouses will not be able to enjoy the same comfort of living they did when they were married. They may have to eliminate eating out, downsize their vehicle to one that is less costly to operate and maintain, and they may even have to turn to their adult children for help.

Any breakup can be difficult to deal with. Therefore, Coloradans may find that it is a good idea to sit down with a family attorney to discuss their situation and look at their options.