Since 1990, the rate of divorce for couples over 50 years of age has doubled. Increasingly, women over age 40 are reportedly seeking to end their marriages. The phenomenon has been dubbed the empty nest divorce and affects about one in four baby boomer marriages. Researchers believe the soaring divorce rate is a result of increased financial independence and a generational emphasis on individual happiness.
52-year-old Debbie Jenkins found herself surprised when she divorced her husband of more than two decades as she thought she would be married for the rest of her life. Instead, she filed for divorce after realizing neither party to the marriage could relate to one another anymore. She reportedly relied on her grown children and other relatives to help her cope with the changes to her life following divorce. Fifty-something Thatia Cuchera echoed Jensen’s thoughts. She ended her marriage after realizing the relationship she hoped for would likely never materialize. Instead, Cuchera stated she decided to take a chance on herself and embrace the world alone.
Some believe the empty nest divorce trend is a natural result of increased longevity. As life expectancy increases, fewer people are willing to remain in a marriage that fails to meet their expectations for four or five decades. Others feel women have more choices today than their mothers did and enjoy an increased level of independence. Whatever the cause for the higher over-50 divorce rate, financial advisers caution late in life splits can be especially complicated. As couples near retirement, a divorce can have a significant impact on each spouse’s financial outlook as assets are split between the two parties.
If you are contemplating dissolving your marriage, it is important to keep in mind that the State of Florida is a no-fault divorce state. This means no one has to be held responsible for the end of a marriage. If you are facing a divorce or another stressful family law matter, contact a capable South Florida family law attorney to help you protect both your rights and your financial future.