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Divorce rate highest among older Americans

For years statistics showed that divorce rates in the United States hit a peak in the 1980s. After that, the rate appeared to be on the decline, but recent data gathered since 2008 points to a picture that isn't so simple.

While every situation is different, it appears that couples who wait until about age 25 to get married may be less likely to divorce. However, according to one study, the divorce rate for Americans in their early- to mid-60s has increased threefold in the last 14 years. The rate of divorce is even higher for people over age 65.

Many older Americans who get divorced aren't doing so for the first time. Statistics suggest that first marriages are generally more stable than subsequent marriages, and that appears to account in part for the high rate of divorce among baby boomers.

The notion of widespread stability among younger couples may also be misleading. Rather than vow to remain married, many young people choose to cohabit well into their 20s and 30s. Having cohabited before marriage doesn't mean that a married couple will divorce, but cohabiting also doesn't automatically mean that a couple's relationship will be stable.

What is certain is that people going through a divorce at any age may have to confront a range of complicated legal issues, including the division of marital property. If your assets have a particularly high value, then managing an equitable distribution will be especially complex. An attorney with experience in family and business law can help assess your individual situation and reach an appropriate property settlement.

Source: TIME, "Divorce Watch: Couples of All Ages Are Less Stable Than Ever," Belinda Luscombe, March 31, 2014

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