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More older couples thinking about divorce financial impacts

More and more older couples are thinking about the financial impacts of divorce even though the number of gray divorces has doubled in the past 25 years, according to research from the Pew Research Center. Gray divorces are those that occur over the age of 50, for the most part. There are some who view gray marriages as those over 60 whose children are grown

As people age, so too does their marriage. The longer a couple remains married, the more complicated a potential divorce becomes. Some older couples decide to live apart for years instead of formally filing for divorce because of these complications.

Many gray divorces tend to end unhappily, which can cause financial decisions to be clouded by emotional baggage. Many of these divorces involve battles between children from a first marriage and children from a second marriage centering around inheritance. Many older couples decide to endure a lengthy separation prior to divorce in order to avoid costly legal fees.

Problems can still arise during a separation between older couples. These problems include spouses being able to make health care decisions for the other, one spouse incurring debt the other doesn't know about and one spouse making financial decisions for the other if he or she becomes incapacitated.

It is recommended that legal separation occur between a couple prior to divorce. This can include post-nuptial agreements, which outline debt and disposable income and how these issues are to be handled.

Couples that divorce close to retirement run the risk of cutting their retirement readiness in half. The cost of living is less because of the divorce, but it is not usually half. Once divorced, it is difficult to live to the same standard you lived at while married. These are all issues that older couples are considering prior to filing the paperwork for divorce.

An experienced divorce attorney in Suffolk County, New York, can answer all of your questions surrounding divorce legal issues.

Source: Reuters, "Your Money: Older couples ponder financial impact of divorce," Beth Pinsker, April 26, 2017

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