Birmingham Divorce Lawyers: The “Gray Divorce Revolution”

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Nov 05, 2012 | 0 Comments

A recent report published by The Journals of Gerontology shows how baby boomers are driving up divorce rates as they get older.


Our Birmingham divorce lawyers understand the unique challenges for middle age and older couples seeking a split, with many cases requiring extensive attention to tax and retirement plan details.

The study, conducted by sociologists at Bowling Green University in Ohio, revealed that among adults 50 and older, the divorce rate doubled between 1990 and 2010. In fact, 1 in every 4 divorces that took place in 2010 involved people who were 50 or older.

It was also noted that the divorce rate was 2.5 times higher for individuals in their second or subsequent marriage, versus those who were in their first marriage.

Generally, however, the longer a couple was married, the less likely they were to get divorced. Couples who were married 40 years or more had a divorce rate of 3.2 for every 1,000 marriages. Conversely, couples who had been married less than 10 years had nearly 30 divorces for every 1,000 marriages.

While the researchers noted that some 600,000 people over the age of 50 were divorced in the U.S. in 2010 (compared to about 200,000 in 1990), they indicated that little was known about the predictors or consequences of such a split in middle age and later in life.

We can help fill in the blanks there.

Many of our more mature clients find themselves in later years simply unwilling to put up with garbage they may have in their 20s, 30s and 40s, and many are no longer grounded together by young children. Plus, women have gained a significant amount of independence over the last 50 years, meaning she is less reliant on her husband to take care of her in later years, and more likely to seek true happiness elsewhere.

As far as the consequences, a lot of it can really depend not only on your unique financial situation, but also upon the lawyer you choose to handle your case.

You may have read, but many law schools have been churning out new attorneys faster than they can be hired by firms. Many of these new lawyers are desperate for experience – but your complicated divorce case shouldn't be the place they get it.

You are better off finding someone who has proven success in these cases.

Failure to do so could mean loss of alimony payments to which you may have been entitled, loss of assets or other property you may have otherwise claimed a stake in and errors in tabulating joint debts and retirement plans that could cost you dearly.

Unfortunately, many older folks don't have an abundance of working years left to recover from such a disaster. So while some conclude that they can't afford a good attorney, what they need to realize is they often can't afford NOT to hire a good lawyer.

If you are contemplating a divorce in Birmingham, contact Birmingham Family Law Attorney Steven Eversole at (866) 831-5292.

Additional Resources:

Are Baby Boomers Still Pushing Up the Divorce Rate? Nov. 2, 2012, By Robert Hughes, Jr., Professor of Human Development, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The Huffington Post

The Gray Divorce Revolution: Rising Divorce Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults,1990-2010, Aug. 30, 2012, Susan L. Brown, PhD, Department of Sociology, Bowling Green State University

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama


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