Baby boomer women take the lead in divorce: trends, possibilities

If you’re 50-plus years of age, married and largely content with simply sitting around the house and watching inordinate amounts of television, chances are you’re a guy.

As one family history professor says in noting what women are more likely to want from an established marriage of many years, “equality, intimacy, friendship, fun, and even passion” factor into the wish list.

That dichotomy in expectations can result in problems and, with baby boomer couples, it increasingly does. The result is a comparatively high divorce rate for that demographic, with dissolution most commonly being considered and carried through by women who simply want more meaning and engagement in their partnerships as they enter advanced years.

Divorce is of course a much more easily obtained and feasible outcome to a problematic relationship than in previous generations, and the growing independence of women — socially and in the workplace — is a leading catalyst in their taking the lead in initiating divorce.

The reduced stigma attached to marital dissolution is also a driving factor in more women seeking freedom, as is improved health care allowing for a healthier and extended life span and an ever-increasing array of lifestyle options available to older single people.

In a recent media article, author and divorce commentator Nancy Fagan notes the singular attraction of divorce mediation over a formalized courthouse divorce in many instances for baby boomer couples. She says that, although mediation can’t remedy a bad marriage, “it can fix the situation when it comes to moving on solo.”

Mediated divorce is a specialized process with a number of unique features, and it is certainly a divorce option that is popular with many persons in Georgia. Information about divorce mediation can be obtained through discussion with a family law attorney who is also a certified mediator.

Source: La Jolla Light, “‘Til age 50 do us part: Divorce commonplace among baby boomers,” Nancy Fagan, Sept. 30. 2013

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