Family Law | University of Minnesota Study: Baby Boomers at High Risk for Divorce

A study out of the University of Minnesota reports that divorce among baby boomers is on the rise. The study is one of many, joining with a widely publicized report out of Bowling Green State University in Ohio finding the divorce rate more than doubled for those over the age of 50 between the years of 1990 and 2010. The Minnesota study provided focused data on those over the age of 65, noting the divorce rate for this group is now five times higher than it was in 1970.

Study after study is coming out to support these findings. In response, legal professionals provide advice to help ease the transition for baby boomers. Some top tips include:

  • Be aware of contentious issues. A survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers provides some data on top contentious issues for baby boomers going through a split. Researchers analyzed the data and found 38 percent of divorcing couples surveyed in this age group listed alimony as the most contentious issue, while 20 percent stated business interests were more likely to lead to arguments. Another top contentious issue: retirement accounts and pensions.
  • Be aware of retirement accounts. Properly splitting retirement assets is arguably far more important for those over the age of fifty going through a divorce than for those in their twenties. The Minnesota State Bar Association, a group of legal professionals in the state, encourages couples going through a divorce to consider not only what retirement assets are available during the property division portion of the divorce, but also what the potential tax implications are.
  • Be aware of extra paperwork. In addition to watching out for tax implications, it is also important to be aware that a final divorce decree may not be enough to ensure retirement assets are split. A qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO, may be required. This document is designed to recognize that a person other than the listed recipient is eligible to receive payouts from a retirement account.

These are just a few of the issues that can arise during a divorce proceeding. As a result, those going through a divorce are encouraged to contact an experienced Minnesota divorce attorney. These legal professionals will discuss your options and help to better ensure a property division determination is structured to meet your needs.