Here in Florida, we are accustomed to seeing older couples migrating to the state to spend their retirement years basking in the warm and sunny climate. However, a recent survey from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers suggests that a growing number of these older people may be setting up shop in our state all by themselves.
The online survey of 1,600 AAML members revealed that 61 percent had seen an increase in the number of divorces involving baby boomers, meaning those people born between 1946 and 1964. Perhaps even more interesting, the survey revealed that almost a quarter of these so-called "gray divorces" were initiated by women.
"Baby boomers have regularly been catalysts for social change, and getting divorced in their later years appears to be one of the most recent trends," said Alton Abramowitz, president of the AAML.
The survey also revealed that those boomers who are no longer feeling the "peace and love" of their former partner are most likely to argue about the following issues in their divorce: alimony, business interests and division of retirement accounts/pensions.
When then are so many boomers looking to split from their spouses of so many years?
Experts theorize that the spike in the gray divorce rate can likely be traced to a multitude of factors, including longer life spans, changes in family dynamics (i.e., more empty nests), the accumulation of significant financial wealth, greater social acceptance of divorce, and the willingness of boomers to put their happiness first.
"The baby boom generation grew up in a society that emphasized individual growth and development and independence," said Abramowitz. "There has been a clear development of people's need to move on when the relationship is no longer satisfying."
As for the fact that more boomer women are initiating divorces, experts attribute this phenomenon to boomer women having enjoyed great career success and, by extension, greater financial autonomy. Accordingly, they can divorce without worrying about their long-term finances.
What are your thoughts on this report? Do you have any firsthand experience with boomer divorce?
If you would like to learn more about divorce, alimony, property division or other issues, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional.
Source: Yahoo News!, "Gray divorces rising as more baby boomers opt to end marriages," Patricia Reaney, June 12, 2013