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Retirement becomes a major issue in older divorces

Divorce seems to be growing in a major demographic - baby boomers. With many of them over the age of 50 now, these divorces can be devastating to a person's retirement plans. This is particularly true when a couple gets married and does not plan on getting divorced, as most couples in Columbus, Ohio, do. What happens during a split between two individuals who have established their lifestyles and careers years before? The answer is usually a High Asset divorce.

Experts weighing in on the subject of "grey divorce," as splits between people over 50 years old are sometimes known, have much to say. Suggestions for making such a marital dissolution work include being aware of the fact that this will change both spouses' lives without much time to get things back on track. Had the divorce occurred earlier, it might be more of an obstacle to overcome.

Many couples save for retirement, planning it together. One spouse may work more than the other, contributing more to savings plans and investment funds. But few married couples will save for retirement as if they will be divorced by the time they stop working. The consequences of that include increased costs since the couple is no longer sharing expenses. After the divorce is over, the two people must realize that instead of using the retirement savings as a couple who shared a home, a car and everything else, it will now be used on two individuals with separate homes, separate cars and separate lives.

Once this is realized, an older couple may be able to remain amicable during the split. If you are involved in a divorce or expecting to become part of one, contact an attorney as soon as possible. The time you save by reaching out to an attorney can be spent preparing for the legal battles to come, if it is necessary.

Source:  The Globe and Mail, "Lifetime of assets on the line when over-50 couples split" Noreen Rasbach, Jun. 14, 2013

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