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Baby boomer couples divorce at increasing rates

Issues that arise during a divorce will likely differ depending on a couple's stage of life. Young couples with children likely face challenges coming to a custody agreement and figuring out child support or alimony payments. However, couples who divorce in their 50s, 60s, or 70s may have different concerns when handling a divorce settlement.

One report indicates that the number of couples divorcing in their older years has increased dramatically in recent years. These divorces which are often called "gray divorces" have increased by over 50 percent in the past 20 years. One report states that in the 1970s the rate of divorce in this age group was only 13 percent.

So, how do gray divorces differ from those of younger couples? Younger couples still have many years of working and potentially raising a family. In addition, a younger couple will likely have fewer assets than an older couple and may have more mutual debt. Older couples, on the other hand, may already be retired, so asset division could be more complicated and would likely take pensions and retirement funds into account.

In addition, when an older couple divorces, they are at a different place in life and may have a clearer idea about what they want out of the divorce. Finalizing the divorce quickly may also be a chief concern. Spouses who are in their 70s likely do not want to spend several years of their lives finalizing a divorce when they could be doing many other things with their time.

Source: Patch, "Gray divorce is new trend," Dale Hutchings, Oct. 23, 2012

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