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Collaboration vs. litigation for divorcing Maryland boomers

As baby boomers get ready to retire another phenomenon is occurring -- their divorce rate is increasing. Maryland residents may be interested to know that about one fourth of the divorces in the U.S. involved baby boomers in 2009. That was up from one in 10 in 1990.

Baby boomers may face even more financial challenges in divorces than their younger counterparts. Dividing assets with the prospect of retirement only a few years away can be especially daunting. As such, a collaborative divorce can be especially beneficial for baby boomers. By limiting the costs of expensive litigation, Maryland baby boomers can maximize the value of the assets they have accumulated over the years.

Collaborative law involves the resolution of issues such as the division of assets, property division and spousal support without resorting to litigation in court. Both parties are fully engaged in the process of discussing and reaching a fair and rational settlement. The parties are able to manage the entire process discreetly and address all of the critical financial issues that are particularly important for each of them.

All baby boomers should have financial plans in place that addresses their long term goals. This is especially true of those who are facing the possibility of a divorce. It is especially important that each party in a divorce determine what their individual daily expenses are by figuring out their sources of income and spending habits. This will allow them to determine what their individual needs are when facing the prospect of a divorce.

Baby boomers should carefully consider the pros and cons of keeping a particular asset. Real estate, for example, does not always appreciate and the costs of maintaining the property may outweigh the benefits when someone is nearing retirement age.

It is essential that the parties be made aware of what they are entitled to when facing the possibility of a divorce. In many cases, they may have a claim to alimony or other forms of spousal support, social security or retirement benefits of the ex-spouse, retirement accounts, pension plans, and other policies, such as life or disability insurance which may be held jointly.

While divorce can be difficult, working in collaboration toward a common goal can quicken the process and send each person on their separate ways in the best possible position.

Source: Fox Business, "Graying divorces: what boomers need to know about protecting their assets," Andrea Murad, May 25, 2012

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