Many Californians have likely heard media reports about the decreasing divorce rates in the U.S. While it is true that the number of divorces has fallen, research indicates that the rates could reach nearly 53 percent if people's behaviors continue as they are.
According to a survey conducted by a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, baby boomers are largely responsible for the continued high divorce rates in the nation. While younger people are being more careful before they agree to marry, older people are divorcing in increasing numbers.
The rate of divorces among people who were in the 55-64 age bracket more than doubled from 1990 to 2012. For people who were age 65 or older, the rate tripled during that same time. The study's author stated that part of that can be attributed to the differing views of marriage baby boomers have when compared to those of earlier generations. The author also said that it is too soon to know if millennials will follow in the footsteps of their parents, divorcing as they reach midlife as well. The average amount of time a first marriage lasts before ending in divorce is 12 years.
For couples who divorce after being married for a long time, dividing marital property can be very complicated. They have often amassed significantly more assets than younger people, and property division is likely to be one of the most significant issues, as child custody and visitation will in most cases not be relevant. A family law attorney can often assist a divorcing client in negotiating a property settlement agreement that can avoid the prospect of having a judge divide the community property in a 50-50 split.