Couples who sustain a long and happy marriage are becoming increasingly rare, according to a study for the National Center for Family and Marriage Research. Sociologists at the Bowling Green State University think tank maintain that twice as many couples over the age of 50 divorced in 2014 than in 1990. Moreover, studies show that the divorce rate continues to drop among couples in other age groups. Many say that the spike in these so-called “gray divorces” may be attributable to the ease with which a divorce can now be obtained.
During the 1960s and early 1970s divorce was not only socially taboo, it was also an expensive and legally risky endeavor. Divorce law in Maryland and much of the rest of the country was eventually changed to allow a no-fault divorce. As a result, spouses seeking a divorce no longer need to rely upon allegations of infidelity or abuse in order to end his or her marriage. However, a spouse in Maryland may still pursue a fault-based divorce if they so choose.
Couples contemplating divorce must remain realistic about the complexity of untangling a decades-long marriage. Although it is unlikely that a divorce between a couple over age 60 will involve a custody dispute, financial assets, such as the family home, must still be divided. When one spouse continues to work, it is not uncommon in a divorce for alimony to be awarded. Moreover, sources of retirement income, which are treated as marital property, are often divided in half when both spouses have ceased working. Lastly, couples embarking on a gray divorce should be mindful that any costs associated with caring for an elderly parent will now be borne alone.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), more than 90% of all people over the age of 50 are married or have been married. However, the APA maintains 40 to 50% of those marriages will not survive, and subsequent marriages are even more likely to end in divorce. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reached similar conclusions in a 2013 study that found 42% of marriages end in divorce by age 46. Divorce rates are lower among people with higher levels of education. Thirty percent of college graduates will experience a divorce, where half of all marriages of spouses who failed to complete high school will end in divorce.
Towson Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Offer Experienced Guidance During a Divorce
If you are contemplating divorce, the Towson divorce lawyers of Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC can help. Contact us online or call 443-589-0150 to schedule a consultation at our offices. We proudly serve clients throughout Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County, including the communities of Baltimore, Towson, Essex, Columbia and Bel Air.