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Divorces among older individuals more common

Missouri individuals may be interested to learn that, in recent years, divorce rates have increased for couples over the age of 50. Although the national divorce rate has decreased over the past few years, the divorce rate among baby boomers is nearly twice what it was previously. The Baby Boomer generation has been seen as implementing many social changes, and divorces that occur later in life appear to be the newest trend. Research indicates that it is frequently the wives that initiate divorce proceedings among those over 50.

These so-called "gray divorces" can be different from divorces at a younger age, because the focus is more on social security benefits or retirement funds than things like child custody. Older couples are frequently concerned with division of business interests and alimony. It is more likely that older couples will have a high-asset divorce.

In recent years, a number of older famous couples have made headlines for divorcing. Morgan Freeman and his wife separated when the star was 71 years old, after 24 years of marriage. Al and Tipper Gore, both in their early sixties, separated in 2010 after being married for 40 years.

A family law attorney may be able to assist those who are contemplating divorce later in life by attempting to negotiate a division of marital assets, which may include real estate, 401(k)s, pensions, cars or business interests. It may also be necessary to negotiate the resolution of debts incurred during the marriage. For individuals nearing retirement, it can be important to get sufficient assets that allow spouses to remain self-sufficient following divorce. An attorney may also be able to help with creating the paperwork needed to divide assets, drafting a separation agreement and filing for divorce.

Source: Huffington Post, "Gray Divorce Is On The Rise, According To New Data", June 12, 0201