As baby boomers age, they seem to be reverting to patterns of marital instability that many of them displayed back in the 80s and 90s when divorce rates were through the roof. As a result, divorce data in 2010 actually indicates an increase in rates, especially as baby boomers enter their 60s.
Those were the findings of a new study that relied on a new method of analyzing divorce data. The study by researchers at the University Of Minnesota found that contrary to popular belief, divorce rates in the country have not declined since 1980, but have only stabilized and flattened somewhat. In fact, when the researchers controlled for variables like the change in the age of the married population, they found a 40% increase in the divorce rate.
According to the conclusions of their study, people who had high divorce rates in 1980 and 1990, when they were in their 20s and 30s, continue to show a pattern of high divorce rates as they age, and reach their 50s and 60s. That demographic refers to the baby boomers, and according to the researchers, this is a segment of the population that continues to show high divorce rates, compared to younger Americans.
These findings don’t take into account the fact that divorce rates among younger Americans these days are lower for the simple fact that many young Americans take a much longer time to get married, or simply don’t get married at all. Cohabitation is on the increase, and many people simply do not bother to make things official. Besides, people now prefer to live together for a while before they get married, and that further drives down the risk of a divorce before they are 30 years old. However, according to the research, the overall divorce rates are not much lower in spite of the lower divorce rates involving younger persons, because of the high rates in the above-50 category.
Divorce when you’re 50 and above is markedly different from filing for divorce when you’re younger. There are far too many financial issues at stake when a 60 year-old files for divorce, and the risk of potentially catastrophic errors is huge. There’s one thing that everyone agrees on, however – no matter whether you are 30 or 65, divorce is a traumatic and stressful life experience.