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Older couples and divorce

Older couples in Florida are more likely to get a divorce compared to their counterparts in 1990, but this remains the age group that is least likely to split. Furthermore, not all marriages of older couples are equally vulnerable to divorce. For example, a 2012 study found that compared to second or later marriage, first marriages were less than half as likely to end in divorce.

Finances are also a factor. Couples who have $50,000 or fewer in assets are more likely to divorce than those who have over $250,000 in assets. Factors that do not appear to affect the divorce rate in this age group include retirement, the "empty nest" syndrome, health problems or education levels.

Among older couples who do divorce, around one-third have been married for more than 30 years and a little over 10 percent have been married longer than 40 years. Divorce later in life may have significant financial implications. For couples who are living together after the age of 50, the poverty rate is only about 4 percent. For older men who divorce, it is 11 percent. More than one-fourth of older women experience poverty after divorce.

For this reason, ensuring financial security may be particularly important for a person who is going through a divorce. For example, the person might be concerned about getting a share of the retirement account. Older couples may have a number of assets to divide, and in some cases, this may be particularly difficult for emotional as well as financial reasons. For example, the couple might have owned a home together for decades that they now must sell or that one of them must move out of. An attorney might be able to help a client in negotiating these important issues.

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