Divorce Rates are Soaring Among Baby Boomers : Possible Reasons Why

By Jaime S. Dursht, Partner

Baby Boomers are the fastest-growing group of those getting divorced. The rate of divorce among Baby Boomers tripled from 1990 to 2021, according to a study released in 2021. The phenomenon of older adults going through divorce has been called “gray divorces” and “silver splits,” and there seems to be some permanency to this trend, given what we know about its causes.

Role Shifts for Empty Nesters
Many parents headed for divorce decide to wait for their children to leave for college before facing divorce. Others have found that once their children grow up and the intense role of parenting ends, the relationship issues they have been too busy to focus on come to the forefront. They are no longer willing to sweep issues of infidelity, financial instability, and domestic abuse under the rug and no longer need to wait until the children are out of the house.

Financial Independence
Women in the Baby Boomer Generation were more likely to be part of the workforce, so many have their own financial resources, unlike those generations before them. Those who earned money before having children were more likely and capable of returning to work. Financial independence for themselves and their adult children has given rise to greater freedom to decide to divorce.

Covid Isolation and Relationship Issues
The pandemic forced couples to be together on a daily basis.  For some, this exacerbated preexisting relationship issues. Some found the isolation highlighted differences in health and wellness priorities. Some realized they had incompatible lifestyles and views about how to live healthy lives. For many, this translated into strong preferences to live alone without the interference or burden of a partner.

Stigma Reduction
Societal stigmas around divorce no longer hold couples back when it comes to staying in unhappy marriages. These days, there appears to be a more pragmatic approach to whether divorce is a realistic option. Couples often want to take an amicable path towards splitting up, directing the divorce process towards financial practicality and individual stability going forward.

Varied Options in the Divorce Process
Many more options are now available for older couples who wish to end their marriages without the acrimony and uncertainty of litigation.  Both mediation and collaborative divorce offer efficient resolution without court involvement for those who prefer to handle their divorce with complete privacy. Not surprisingly, this trend appeals to them as a healthier emotional and financial route moving beyond divorce.

Attorney Selection
Regardless of where you are in the process, it is important to understand that you have options.  Speak to an attorney who is specifically trained and experienced in the process you are interested in to learn about which one is right for your divorce.

Jaime S. Dursht is a Partner at Siegel Colin & Kaufman, P.C.  Previously an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, she now practices exclusively in Connecticut matrimonial and family law. She is trained in both Mediation and Collaborative Divorce.

You can reach Jaime Dursht in the Stamford office at (203) 326-5145 or by email to schedule a consultation. 


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