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What promotes marital stability, drives divorce for 50-plus group?

Family-focused researchers, demographers, policy makers and academics seem to have an unending fascination with quantifying divorce through data-churned analysis and statistics intent on rendering it ever-more understandable.

And predictable.

That latter goal is somewhat slippery, if not downright elusive. Studies focused upon answering questions like, "Why do people get divorced?" can never present conclusions in more than a generalized manner. If they could, that would mean that human beings were all automatons routinely possessed of the same drives and emotions.

And that is clearly not the case, as any professional involved in family law knows.

Notwithstanding the inherent limitations of divorce-related studies, researchers are unflagging in their efforts to add more insight regarding divorce factors.

One recent example of that comes courtesy of study findings that have recently issued from a tag team of law school professors/researchers. Their work focused narrowly on divorce risks for an always popular examination group, namely, baby boomers. Even more specifically, it zeroed in on married couples aged 50 or older in long-term marriages and empty-nest relationships.

Their query: Are there special -- that is, notable and recurrent -- factors that drive people in that demographic toward so-called "gray" divorces?

Arguably, there are.

Interestingly, one emanates from evidence showing an increased potential for boomer couples who have previously been divorced to divorce again, regardless of how long their current marriage has endured. The researchers found from decouplings they studied that "gray divorce was almost three times higher for remarried couples than for first-married couples," with that holding true even for remarried partners in marriages decades old.

And another finding that prominently emerged was this: a clear indication that couples who had accumulated some level of assets during marriage were less apt to divorce. Comparing couples with more than $250,000 in assets to those with $50,000 or less, data revealed a nearly 40% higher chance of marital dissolution for the latter group.

The bottom line with such studies is that they can contain some generally useful -- though never conclusive and absolute -- data concerning divorce motivations. Some people divorce because of money, with infidelity cited in other decouplings. Religion, politics, career aspirations, child-rearing stresses, simple burn out -- all these things and more can play a central role in ending marriages.

A proven family law attorney knows that intimately well and brings an empathetic, flexible and tailored approach to advocacy for every divorce client.

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