Gray divorces rising as more baby boomers opt to end marriages

Wed Jun 12, 2013 2:44pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Baby boomers, the post-World War Two generation that redefined traditional values and forged changes in lifestyle and social mores, are doing it again - in divorce court.

A poll of American divorce lawyers showed that 61 percent have seen an increase in the number of gray divorces among people over 50 in the United States.

Nearly a quarter of gray divorces were initiated by wives, compared to 14 percent by husbands.

"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, a New York lawyer and president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), which conducted the survey.

"There is a clear indication that there is a surge in over-50s divorces," he added in an interview.

Alimony was the most contentious issue in 38 percent of divorces among boomers - people born between 1946 and 1964. Business interests came in second at 20 percent, followed by retirement accounts and pensions, according to the online poll of the 1,600 AAML members.

Abramowitz, a baby boomer himself, attributes the rise in boomer divorce to several factors. People are living longer, they are reaching retirement, the children have left home, relationships have changed and it is now easier to get a divorce, even after decades of marriage.

"Some people find a younger partner. Some people find their interests have diverged. Each case is different," he explained.   Continued...

Al Gore arrives with Tipper for the International Emmys in New York November 19, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson