Why So Many Baby Boomers are Getting Divorced (article)
I am NOT a baby boomer. But since I regularly discuss singles, marriage, and related issues….
- June 23, 2011
- By Casey Dowd
The divorce rate among boomers has jumped recently and that number is only expected to climb. Statistics from the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University show that despite the overall divorce rate in the U.S. dropping over the last 20 years, the divorce rate among people age 50 and over has doubled.
To get some answers, I reached out to Karen Stewart, a divorce and relationship expert and founder and CEO of Fairway Divorce Solutions.
Boomer: What’s behind the trend of divorce rates dropping in every other age group except for boomers where it is rising?
Stewart: Baby boomers tend to be the group that has the economic livelihood and the economic feasibility to get divorced. What’s really interesting is that divorce rates will increase in both good and bad economic times.
When there is a lot of money in marriage, divorce is a reasonably easy financial solution because when it comes to dividing the assets, there are enough for both parties. Marriages with not a lot of money tend to be more financially strained which can lead to stress and increase the risk of divorce. The baby boomer generation is hit most by those extremes.
Kids getting older and leaving the nest is another main driver of the increasing divorce.
Boomer: What are some of the leading causes of boomers divorcing? Is infidelity a big problem?
Stewart: The one thing that I hear consistently, regardless of the specific catalyst, is lack of communication–that is by far the universal response. Infidelity is certainly a catalyst and often labeled as a reason; it plays a very large role in the breakdown or end of a marriage.
A really healthy marriage is hard to puncture, but one that is on somewhat-shady ground is very easy to puncture. It really gets back to the individuals and how they feel about infidelity based perhaps on their beliefs, value system and background. Infidelity is used as a catalyst reason for ending a marriage 50-70% of the time.
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