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Divorce is less common under 40, but twice as common over 50

Divorce rates can get complicated. You often hear that half of all marriages end in divorce or that it’s more common now than ever, but that’s not always true. For some, it’s less common than it was 25 years ago. For others, it’s massively more common.

What you may be surprised to find out is that fewer young couples are splitting up, while those nearing retirement age are divorcing more and more often.

For instance, between 1990 and 2015, one study found that the divorce rate for those between 25 years old and 39 years old had gone down by a full 21 percent. For those between 40 and 49, it had gone up by 14 percent. However, for those over 50, it had jumped by an astounding 109 percent.

Even these numbers can be misleading, though. The 25-39 age group still had the highest divorce rate. The study found that 30 out of every 1,000 married people got divorced in that age group in 1990, and 24 out of every 1,000 split up in 2015. For those over 50, just five out of every 1,000 divorced in 1990, but then 10 out of every 1,000 divorced in 2015.

So, if you feel like you rarely hear about divorces for those over 50 and you always hear about them for those between 25 and 39, there’s a reason for it. The trends just show that both of those groups are gradually moving toward one another.

It’s good to understand divorce rates and consider them in a realistic way at any age. If you wind up heading to divorce court, be sure you know your rights to things like spousal support, child custody, and a fair division of assets.

Source: Pew Research Center, “Led by Baby Boomers, divorce rates climb for America’s 50 population,” Renee Stepler, accessed Nov. 03, 2017

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