Baby boomers are ending their marriages at record rates, according to new data from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML).
The AAML polled its 1,600 members and found that among the respondents, 61 percent said they have seen an increase in divorce cases among the over-50 set, with 22 percent reporting that wives initiate the splits most often.
In a press release, Alton Abramowitz, president of the AAML, explained the significance of their findings.
“Baby Boomers have regularly been catalysts for social change and getting divorced in their later years appears to be one of the most recent trends,” Abramowitz said. “Alimony, business interests, and retirement accounts certainly represent some of the main concerns that need to be addressed and settled for spouses facing the end of their marriages in this over 50-year-old age group.”
Also known as a "gray divorce," ending a marriage after 50 can be more financially burdensome than divorcing at a younger age, particularly because social security benefits and retirement funds come into play. And even though the national divorce rate has dropped in recent years, the divorce rate among baby boomers has nearly doubled, according to the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University.
Click through the slideshow to see six of Hollywood's most-talked-about gray divorces.
After 30 years of marriage, Danny DeVito, 67, and Rhea Perlman, 64, announced their separation in October 2012. The split shocked fans of the comedic pair, who shared scenes in the sitcom "Taxi," as well as the movie "Matilda." Some sources reported that DeVito's wandering eye was to blame for the breakup, but a rep for the actor called the story a "pure and simple fabrication." In December 2012, the "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" actor fueled reconciliation rumors when he told "Extra" that he and Perlman were "working on" their marriage. In March 2013, People magazine reported that the pair had reconciled, though DeVito's rep had no comment.
In June 2010, a 62-year-old Al Gore and a 61-year-old Tipper Gore announced their separation after 40 years of marriage. The split surprised many people, including those close to the Gores. A family friend of the estranged couple told the Los Angeles Times, "They're pretty private when it comes to their personal lives. They just managed all these years to do that -- to keep private... When my wife heard the news she said, 'I'd have lost a lot of money on that bet.' But what do we know about the pressure of people under the spotlight? Who knows what that does to people?"
In July 2011, Maria Shriver, then 55, filed for divorce from Arnold Schwarzenegger, then 63, in the wake of the former California governor's admission that he fathered a child with household staffer Mildred Baena. Since then, rumors of a potential reconciliation between the couple of 25 years have surfaced. In March 2012, sources told The New York Post that Schwarzenegger and Shriver were attending marriage counseling. During his "Total Recall" book tour, the "Terminator" actor told Fox News' Sean Hannity, "I'm the forever optimist. So I do see that Maria and I get together eventually."
After nearly three decades of marriage, Robyn Moore, then 52, filed for divorce from Mel Gibson, then 53, in April 2009. The ex-couple -- who have seven children together -- separated in 2006 after Gibson's DUI arrest and much-publicized anti-Semitic outburst. Their split was finalized in December 2011. Moore reportedly walked away with a large portion of the "Braveheart" actor's retirement benefits, as well as half of his estimated $800 million fortune.
In 1988, Robin Williams reportedly left his first wife, Valerie Velardi, for his son's nanny, Marsha Garces. The pair got married in May 1989 while Garces was pregnant with the comedian's second child. In 2008, after almost 19 years of marriage and two children together, the 51-year-old Garces filed for divorce from the 56-year-old Williams. The former couple finalized their divorce in 2010.
After 24 years of marriage, Morgan Freeman, then 71, and Myrna Colley-Lee split in July 2008. But the public was unaware of the divorce filing until August 2008 when the "Million Dollar Baby" actor got into a serious car accident while driving with a female passenger late on a Sunday evening. After suspicions arose as to why Freeman was out with someone other than his wife, the actor's attorney and business partner issued a statement confirming that he was getting a divorce. Freeman and Colley-Lee finalized their split more than two years later in September 2010.