Over the last 20 years, a trend has emerged that could impact many older Georgia residents. Historically, divorces were seen predominantly among younger couples. However, the divorce rate for older Americans since 1990 has surged with signs that it will only speed up as more and more baby boomers expand their demographic dominance of the population.

Findings by researchers at the National Center for Family & Marriage Research Center indicate that the rate of divorce for Americans 50 years and over has skyrocketed 100 percent in the last two decades. This has held true for couples over 65. Among younger boomers, the divorce rate was actually higher.

Perhaps part of the reason, the study indicates, is that people who have divorced and then remarried are at least twice as likely to get divorced again. For people 50 years or over, these kinds of divorces comprise around 50 percent of all divorces for that age group.

These findings, particularly the rate of divorce for remarried couples, lead some to the conclusion that the divorce rate for older couples will only grow.

As we noted in a previous post, Older Georgians who find themselves in this position should take extra care to ensure marital property is divided equitably. Unlike younger couples who have more time to recover from an unfavorable divorce, it can be a major financial challenge for older individuals.

Older couples may have sizeable assets or be surprised by the extra costs of single life. Together, these factors make getting a reasonable settlement imperative. To enhance the chance of a fair settlement, get copies of all documents, including ownership and title of assets, joint accounts, financial statements, credit reports and any other financial documentation.

To improve the likelihood of a favorable result, older Georgians should also have the help of professionals experienced in divorce processes.

Source: Yahoo Finance, "Financial Safeguards Needed as Senior Divorces Soar," Philip Moeller, July 6, 2012