Now, Koerber is part of a growing club: people who divorce after age 50. The divorce rate for this group doubled between 1990 and 2010, according to a study by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
“This surprised us, because the rate for younger people has leveled off,” said lead researcher Susan Brown, a sociology professor. “In 1990, only 1 in 10 divorces were people 50 and older. Now it’s 1 in 4.”
Brown attributes the increase to more seniors (“that huge segment of baby boomers”), more women with careers (“they don’t have to stay in empty-shell marriages for the money”) and more people ignoring their churches’ no-divorce rules.
Ironically, Brown said, some of the same factors that invigorate longtime marriages, such as children leaving home, cause others to end.