When people refer to the divorce rate, they often lump all divorces together into one overall rate. For years, we've heard about how nearly half of American marriages end in divorce.
In fact, the chances of divorce depend on many different factors. For the restless baby boom generation, for example, later-in-life marriages, among people getting married for the second or third time, may be more likely to end in divorce than those of younger people getting married for the first time.
Granted, there is a counter-argument to this view. Many boomers believe that the hard lessons learned in earlier marriages can help them in later relationships. The soul-searching, they think, makes them better partners - and in mid-life there may be fewer money issues than in marriages of twenty-somethings just starting out.
The data suggests, however, that the divorce rate for couples whose members are over 50 has doubled in less than 30 years. In 1980, only 19 percent of people 50 and over were in remarriages. By 2009, that number had increased to 30 percent, according to the National Center for Family & Marriage Research.
The family law issues that such couples face go well beyond divorce. For remarried couples with children from previous marriages, the challenges of creating a blended family can be considerable.
These challenges can manifest themselves, for example, in estate planning issues. A remarried spouse may need to balance the interests of children of a previous marriage with those of his or her current spouse.
Of course, each marriage - before or after age 50 - is unique. And so too, if it comes to that, is every divorce.
Source: "Boomers who remarry learn from failed relationships," CNN, Emanuela Grinberg, 12-5-12
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