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Gray divorces mean changes in property division

A recent study shows that 25 percent of divorces in 2009, or one in every four, occur between partners aged 50 or older. This is double the figure for that age group for 1990 and is likely to increase in coming years as the average age of the population continues to climb. Property division between long-time partners and those in their later years are generally different than those of younger couples in Missouri.

Recovering financially from a "gray" divorce can be difficult. Spouses at this age are likely to have long-term investments that must be divided fairly, and both partners must have enough to live on as they enter retirement age. Gray divorces leave little room for miscalculation if both partners are to have sufficient funds to manage for the rest of their lives. 

One of the biggest decisions couples must make at this age is how to split the assets accumulated during the marriage. Most states follow an equitable distribution principle that may not necessarily lead to a 50/50 split. Courts consider the age of the spouses, their health and the income potential of each partner. Partners must decide if they are better off with liquid assets or with shares in real property or a business. Spouses should also pay attention to beneficiary designations and who is required to make life-support decisions as well.

The divorce process is not always easy, but with the help of a family law attorney, many couples find that they can reach an equitable agreement. A Missouri family law attorney may be able to give good legal and financial advice on how to minimize the damage from a late-life divorce for both partners.

Source: Huffington Post, "Tips for going through a gray divorce," Howard Hook, March 7, 2013 

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