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What are the implications of older Colorado residents divorcing?

Many couples with children look forward to the time when the kids leave the nest and Mom and Dad can have more time to themselves. Raising a family can take a huge toll on a couple's resources, both financial and emotional, and parenting can often mean less time spent focusing on your partner.

In many cases, couples find the time to reconnect with one another when the kids are grown and starting their own adult lives. However, this is not always the case, and new research suggests that older couples in Colorado and beyond are choosing divorce at rates far above those of decades past.

The data comes from a study conducted by researchers at The National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University. The study found that while the divorce rate for all Americans has held steady, dating back to the 1980s, the rate of divorce among older adults has doubled over the past two decades. In 2009, one in four of all divorces were of people age 50 or older. In 1990, that number was just one on 10.

There are a number of theories as to why older adults are choosing divorce more often than in previous decades. Many couples choose to stay together until their children are grown, in the belief that a divorce would reduce stability and cause tension for their family, which is a topic we have previously covered on this blog.

No matter the reasons older couples decide to get divorced, they must still work through many of the same questions as younger couples preparing to split. However, those questions may have very different implications and answers. After spending decades together, there is a good chance a significant amount of marital, or shared, assets have been accrued. As such, it becomes a trickier situation for couples to divide these assets in a way that will provide for both as they grow older.

After many years of marriage, making the decision to divorce can be very difficult. Though it's never a decision to make without consideration, deciding to dissolve a marriage is often the best route for many couples. By taking the right steps, couples can divide their property and assets in an orderly fashion and prepare for the next stage of their lives.

Source:, "The 25-year itch: Empty nesters and the second half of marriage," Wendy Donahue, July 16, 2012

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