Baby Boomers have witnessed a lot of changes over their lifetimes. They’ve
lived through the 1960s and 1970s, the Vietnam War, and the rise of feminism.
Unlike their parents’ generation, they have seen more and more women
enter the workforce, and they’ve watched as some female CEOs have
commanded a paycheck as big as their male counterparts.
Americans are living longer than ever before, the financial opportunities
are open wide for both men and women, and in effect, the divorce rate
for Baby Boomers has exploded since the early 1990s.
According to a study conducted by Susan L. Brown and I-Fen Lin, sociologists
at Bowling Green State University, the
divorce rate for Americans age 50 and older has doubled since 1990.
“At a time when divorce rates for other age groups has stabilized
or dropped, fully one out of every four people experiencing divorce in
the United States is 50 or older, and nearly one in 10 is 65 or older,”
This late stage divorce has been coined “Gray Divorce,” and
Al and Tipper Gore are perfect examples.
After four children and four decades of marriage, the Gores decided to
file for divorce. Tipper denies that Al was boring or cheating on her,
so one can only surmise that the pair “grew apart” over the years.
Why the explosion in Gray Divorce? For one, divorce is more socially acceptable
than it was in generations past. Secondly, women are more financially
independent; they no longer have to choose between being unhappily married
What Baby Boomers Need to Consider
If you are a Baby Boomer who is considering divorce, keep the following in mind:
- If you have been in a long-term marriage (one that lasted longer than 10
years), spousal support will likely be ordered and it may be set indefinitely.
- Your spouse is entitled to half of the marital assets under California’s
community property laws.
- If you acquired your retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or an IRA during
your marriage, your spouse is probably entitled to 50% of it.
- You will have to decide what to do with the “family home,”
which may need to be sold and split.
Second and subsequent marriages are more likely to end in divorce. If you
fall in love and want to remarry, be sure to draw up a
prenuptial agreement. You’ll want to consider adult children and possibly grandchildren
on both sides.
If you are on the brink of a “Gray Divorce,”
contact the Los Angeles divorce lawyers at Claery & Hammond, LLPfor a free