According to a February 2014 article from npr.org, Americans over 50 (known as the Baby Boomer generation) are now twice as likely to get divorced as they were 20 years ago.
Sociologist Susan Brown of Bowling Green State University co-authored a study called “Gray Divorce.” According to Brown’s study, in 1990, less than 1 in 10 individuals getting divorced was over 50. Today, that number has risen to 1 in 4.
Brown says one reason for this is the increasing economic independence of women. Many no longer have to choose between a bad marriage and poverty. Also, she says, divorce can be the collateral damage from increased life spans.
‘When you retire and you no longer have any children at home and you’re spending 24/7 with your spouse, if this is someone that you’re not too fond of anymore, you might want to get divorced,’ Brown says, ‘because you realize, hey, I could spend another 20, 25 years with this person.'” (source: npr.org)
Whatever the reasons, Baby Boomers are divorcing in higher numbers than ever. Many of these couples have grown children and grandchildren, and have spent many years of their lives together. Consequently, divorce can be extremely difficult on these families.
Not only is it an emotionally trying time, calling it quits after many years of hard work building a life and family together, but it also strikes fear into many as they face the life of a single person and the prospect of starting over and dating in a world that is quite different from the one they last experienced “the single life” in.
It is very important in these instances to find a divorce attorney you trust to handle your case with empathy and understanding for the difficult time you are facing.
Chances are, if you’ve been married 20 years or more you probably have accumulated some assets as a couple (and possibly debts as well). You may even have a family business. You need a very experienced divorce lawyer who will zealously represent your best interests and will work hard to ensure you get what you are entitled to.
Keep in mind, marriages over 17 years are considered long-term marriages under Florida law. Therefore, you or your spouse may be entitled to permanent alimony.
Again, choose carefully a divorce attorney with experience in handling complex asset and liability distribution, as well as alimony.