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Finances a key part of divorce at an older age

Did you know that as of 2008, there were twice as many people over the age of 50 who went through a divorce than there were in 1980? The increasing rate aligns with the relatively high divorce rates of recent times. That 2008 statistic goes a bit deeper, as about 1 percent of every 1,000 people aged at least 50 went through a divorce that year.

Elderly divorce is becoming more common, and many older people may not know how to deal with divorce. So what types of things should they be focused on if divorce comes knocking at their door when they are 50, 60 or even 70? What elements of divorce should they prioritize, and what unique issues does an elderly divorce pose?

First of all, any older person going through a divorce needs to plan out his or her post-divorce finances. There are some unique challenges that face older people when it comes to finances, and you need to come up with a plan for how to deal with everything.

One way to put yourself in a good position in this area is to diversify the assets that you have. Maybe you and your soon-to-be-former spouse can come up with a divorce agreement that allows the two of you to share the assets you have.

There are also 401(k) and other retirement accounts to consider. This can get very complicated for some couples, and so it may behoove an older couple to consult an experienced elder law or divorce attorney to help them in this area. In addition, life insurance question and adjusting wills is a major part of divorcing at an older age.

Source: Vanguard, "How to deal with the financial challenges of late-life divorce," Susan Brown, Accessed Oct. 9, 2014

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