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High asset divorce more common later in life

Maryland residents may be interested to learn that more and more couples are divorcing later in life than ever before. This blog reported some months ago on this relatively new phenomenon. Many times, these older couples face a high asset divorce due to all of the material things they have acquired together over the years.

In fact, a recent study conducted by a sociologist at a leading U.S. university has found that the number of divorces involving people over the age of 50 jumped from one in 10 in 1990 to one in four in 2009.

Although each divorce is unique, many times these divorces are not characterized by highly intense emotions. Mature couples do not usually have to contend with the issues of child support, visitation and custody since their children are usually grown. As such, these couples can usually accomplish an equitable distribution of assets, debt and marital property in an amicable way.

Those who are facing the possibility of a divorce should get financial plans in place that address their long term goals. In addition, those over 50 should carefully consider the pros and cons of keeping a particular asset. Real estate, for example, does not always appreciate these days and the cost of maintaining property may outweigh the benefits when someone is nearing retirement age.

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

Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorces Can Come In Shades Of Grey," Stann Givens, Oct. 2, 2012

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