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Why Minnesota divorce is becoming more common in those 50+

In the past, the longer a Minnesota couple stayed married, the less likely they were to divorce. It was unheard of for Minnesota grandparents to divorce, but the times are changing. Divorce is no longer the social stigma it once was, and with women more able to financially support themselves, they no longer need to put up with an annoying husband or a dull and unhappy marriage. In fact, statistics show that the divorce rate among those ages 50 and older doubled since 1990.

Of all divorces in the United States, 25 percent of them involve those over age 50. These gray divorces are becoming increasingly common, and education is not a factor. Although some of these are second and third marriages, most are first marriages of couples who have been married 20 years or more. After all that time, what would cause a couple to divorce?

Most of the time, it is simply a matter of boredom or lack of common interests. Once the children have grown and the couple has retired, they end up spending more time together. They may find that they get on each other's nerves and realize that they cannot live another 15, 20 or 30 years like that.

While there may be less to argue about because the children are grown, there is still the issue of property division. Minnesota is an equitable distribution state, which means that while property may not necessarily be split 50/50, it will be divided based on what the court decides is fair. This can mean a huge decrease in retirement savings and income for each party. Divorce also brings about concerns regarding long-term care. Who will care for that person once he or she becomes unable to do so? These are issues that should be given serious thought before ending the marriage.

Source: Time, "Why Your Grandparents Are Divorcing," Belinda Luscombe, Oct. 8, 2014

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