Have you been divorced? Some Ohio residents will tell you that divorce rates appear to be rising. While this is the case, researchers indicate that the divorce rate is exponentially increasing among older Americans. Recent studies are examining the cause of this rise.

Did you know that the divorce rate has doubled for older individuals over the past decade? Sociologists indicate that one reason this is happening is because baby boomers have already been divorced. Studies show that subsequent marriages have a 150% greater chance of ending in divorce. Therefore, individuals who married and divorced between their 20s and 40s have a greater chance of ending an additional marriage.

Also, 50 percent of older people who divorced in 2009 had been married fewer than two decades. On the other hand, of those who stayed together, 60 percent had been married for more than thirty years. This indicates that longer marriages have a greater sustainability rate.

In addition, divorce rates are different among diverse races and education levels. Studies show that African Americans are 75% more likely than whites to divorce after the age of 50. Furthermore, Hispanics are 21% more likely than whites to divorce. Also, those with a college education have a 17% lower chance of ending their marriage than those with a high-school diploma.

With all of these statistics, researchers wondered what was causing divorce. In 2003, a survey evaluated 1,148 Americans who had gotten divorced between age 40 and 69. Of those surveyed, over one-fourth of individuals listed cheating as the main cause. However, studies suggest that infidelity is the primary reason for divorce in all age groups. This makes it difficult to pinpoint any age-specific reasons.

Researchers are still studying the reasons that contribute to increasing divorce rates; however, there is hope. Research shows that younger boomers were married in the 1990s, when divorce rates were declining. Therefore, if these individuals were not divorced in their 20s or 30s, then statistics suggest that they have a greater chance of staying married longer than the prior generation.

Divorce is a difficult process to deal with. Nevertheless, the new studies elucidate some of the factors that may be connected to marriage dissolution.

Source: Wall Street Journal, "What are the risk factors?" Carl Bialik, March 3, 2012