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DIVORCE FOR OLDER ADULTS INCREASING IN WASHINGTON

Readers in Washington may be surprised to learn that the divorce rate for those who are over the age of 50 is rising. In 2010, one in four couples that filed for a divorce numbered among the older generations. This increase may be due in part to the fact that the population of our country is aging.

The increased longevity of the general population is a factor in many older individuals choosing to divorce at a later age, one authority notes. In some cases, an older person may look at their expected longevity in deciding that they no longer wish to live out their lives with their spouse. For others, the need to file for a divorce may come due to the illness of one of the spouses. Using a divorce, the healthy spouse can protect many of the assets that a couple has accumulated over the years.

Older adults may also be interested to learn that the divorce rate is higher for those who are in second and third marriages than for those in first unions. In fact, second and later marriages are 2.5 times more likely to get a divorce than people in their first marriages. In addition, the overall divorce rate appears to decline as the length of a marriage extends.

Getting a divorce can be a difficult decision for many in Washington regardless of their age. However, there are unique issues that face those who are older when the end their marriage. To ensure that the divorce process moves in the most judicious manner, it may be important for an individual to review all applicable laws governing the sometimes-complicated process.

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