Some Illinois residents may have heard that the American divorce rate skyrocketed during the 1970s and the 1980s. Although the rate appears to have stabilized somewhat since then, marriages between baby boomers are still breaking up, and the economic aftereffects of a divorce appear to be affecting them on a wide scale.

The divorce rate for people over the age of 50 doubled between 1990 and 2010. This may be why about 20 percent of Americans over the age of 65 are still working. That is twice the rate of a few decades ago.

A study has found that people age 62 and older who had never gotten a divorce were only about 3.4 percent likely to be below the poverty line, but that chance increased more than fivefold for those who had been through a divorce. What is more, their studies showed that the weight of the aftereffects of divorce fell on women. For example, women that got a divorce after the age of 50 were found to be 10 percent more likely to still be working to or past the usual age of retirement than women who had been divorced before age 30. This and other factor combine to mean that women of the baby boomer generation are about 20 percent more likely to have a full time job after age 50 than women from the generation before them.

Divorce can have a harsh affect on people regardless of their age. In many cases, they have to learn to live on one income and may have to downsize. People who are facing the end of a marriage and who are concerned about the financial consequences may want to have the assistance of an attorney when negotiating an agreement that covers property division and spousal support.