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Rate of divorce among older Americans is rising

There has been a nationwide increase in the trend of gray divorces, so-named because the participants in these divorces are over the age of 50. Whether because of changing social mores, financial pressure or other reasons, the 50-and-over crowd is one of the fastest-growing segments of the population seeking divorce.

Coloradans may be interested to learn that, nationwide, divorce rates among people over 50 doubled from 1990 to 2009. Because couples over the age of 50 frequently no longer have to consider child custody matters, some may feel less pressure to stay in marriages that do not meet their emotional needs. However, couples in this age group are more likely to confront complex issues in dividing assets, since older couples have often amassed 401(k)s, IRAs, pensions, real estate and savings accounts.

Though not having child custody concerns may make divorce easier for this age group, a skilled attorney is necessary to navigate financial issues. Even among couples who divorce amicably and are able to agree on financial matters, there is still a need for legal counsel. It is important to ensure that the divorce paperwork is filed appropriately. Improper filing leaves both parties at risk for further litigation, especially if one of them remarries or becomes ill.

Because more people are working past the age of 65, incoming salaries may also factor into the divorce agreement, and spousal support may still be ordered. A skilled divorce lawyer is necessary to ensure that each party gets a fair share of the martial property.

Source: FairfaxTimes.com, "Fairfax follows nationwide 'Gray Divorce' trend," Gregg MacDonald, Aug. 3, 2012

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