Older adults in Illinois and throughout the country may be twice as likely to divorce as the same age group was in 1990 while the divorce rate among married couples is going down. Experts attribute these trends to a number of different factors including overall marital instability among the baby boomer generation and a later age at marriage for younger people. For people at or over the age of 65, the divorce rate tripled compared to 1990. However, following a sharp rise, the divorce rate for the 50-and-older age group has remained steady for nearly a decade.

As young adults, baby boomers’ divorce level reached an all-time peak. Since remarriages are more likely than first marriages to end in divorce, they continued to have a higher rate of divorce. Divorce in the 40-to-49 age group had a slight increase although it did not compare to that of baby boomers. The length of the marriage is another factor that may affect the likelihood of divorce. Couples married fewer than 10 years tended to have higher divorce rates although they were still relatively high among people married for 20 or 30 years or longer.

A desire for more independence is cited as one reason that older people may divorce. However, it may lead to poor financial outcomes for both men and women.

There are certain things people can do to try to protect themselves financially. Individuals may want to discuss their specific financial situation with an attorney. Older couples might have accumulated a number of assets that each is concerned about losing. In some long marriages, one spouse may have spent most of their time caring for the children and the home, and they may be concerned about supporting themselves. However, they may be eligible for alimony payments.