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How divorce affects older adults

98229460_S.jpgAccording to research, children of divorced parents are more likely themselves to get divorced, with daughters of divorced parents having a 60 percent higher chance and sons 35 percent more likely. There are other factors that also make a divorce more likely. People in second marriages and marriages of only a few years have a higher risk than those in first marriages or those who have been married for a long time. However, longevity is no guarantee of a lasting marriage, and couples 50 and older in Missouri and throughout the country are more likely to divorce than the past.

Since 1990, the divorce rate has tripled for people 65 and over and doubled for those 50 and older. Despite theories that this could be linked to major life changes such as children moving out or retirement, studies show there is no correlation with these events. Instead, it has been found that older adults divorce when their marriages are no longer fulfilling to them.

Unfortunately, this may come at a time of life when people are already beginning to struggle with social isolation, and divorce may increase that. It can also cause financial difficulties. This can be particularly true for women, who at the age of 65 and older have an 80 percent higher risk of poverty after they divorce than men.

However, people in this age group can take steps to try to ensure their divorce settlement includes a fair division of property. If one spouse has earned less than the other, alimony could be an important element in maintaining financial security. People should take factors into account such as how many years they have left to establish a retirement account or rebuild one that has been split in a divorce along with the cost of keeping and maintaining assets such as a home.

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