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Longer marriages may present more complications in divorce

In any divorce, there may be challenges in resolving legal, financial or personal issues. Although each couple’s circumstances may be unique, a recent article reminds us that some issues may be more common to certain age groups. 

Specifically, the article focused on couples that divorce later in life, when each spouse may be 50 years old or above. For such couples, a divorce may require substantial revision of retirement and estate plans. In addition, couples that have been together for many years may have added difficulties in separating non-marital assets from the marital estate.

For example, in the case of a home purchase, couples may each have contributed separate assets to its purchase. In the years following that acquisition, a couple may have shared only a joint banking account. In achieving a fair division of property, each spouse may desire to take ownership of the house. That process, in turn, may require not only a valuation of the real estate, but also an understanding of the other assets and debts of the marital estate. In addition, there may be added conditions on the house, such as a mortgage, accrued property taxes, or even a lien.

For an attorney who focuses on divorce and property division, such issues may be familiar. Indeed, recent data from the American Community Survey indicates that the number of divorces among older Americans -- those age fifty and above -- tripled between 1990 and 2010. In addition, numbers are expected to continue climbing each year. By 2030, an estimated 828,380 older Americans may be filing for divorce.

Source: Investment News, “When love won't keep them together,” Darla Mercado, May 11, 2014 

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