While divorce is becoming less common for younger Americans, among adults age 50 and older, the divorce rate has roughly doubled since the 1990s, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2015, for every 1,000 married person age 50 and older, 10 divorced, versus five in 1990. This means that family lawyers today may be coping with a very different range of issues than those that confront younger couples, in addition to the complexities inherent in unwinding a 20- or 30- or 40-year relationship.

Although some of these divorces among AARP qualifiers are occurring in second, third, or fourth marriages that are not of long duration, the majority involve long-term marriages. Why are so many older couples calling it quits and why are they waiting so long to take action?

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