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Data shows opinions on marriage and divorce shifting

With the legal changes to alimony determination now setting in, it may come as no surprise to Massachusetts residents that opinions on divorces and how to handle them change over time. It's hard not to notice that societal opinions on relationships appears to have changing, with new studies showing that more people are cohabitating before marriage, waiting to get married longer and even sometimes avoiding marriage altogether. Experts have also noticed growing acceptance of divorce, indicated by so called "grey divorces" amongst individuals over the age of 50.

According to recent information from the U.S. Census, many facets of the institution of marriage are changing. According to the data, individuals are oftentimes waiting longer to get married with both the average age of married individuals getting higher and the rate of unmarried 35 through 45 year olds increasing. Some experts speculate this may be a result of females increasing ability to remain economically independent outside of marriage, particularly with more child care opportunities available to them.

Not only does the data show a change in marriages, it may also indicate new attitudes towards divorces. For instance, the rate of "grey divorces" have been increasing. Commentators attributes a variety of reasons for these increases, such as rises in life expectancy and shifts in opinion on divorce. The data also shows that women may be more inclined to initiate a divorce, with statistics indicating women are the ones seeking a divorce in nearly 2/3rds of all cases.

Regardless of the reasons for these divorces, gray divorces oftentimes have to overcome the problems of complex property division. These couples oftentimes shared the same problems with high asset divorces, having accumulated a great deal of shared property. These assets often come in a variety of forms such as investment and retirement plans as well as physical property such a real estate. In these situations, it may be advisable to speak with legal experts in order to accurately determines these assets value.

Source: Forbes, "Not Your Mother's Divorce: Three 21st Century Trends," Jeff Landers, June 20, 2013

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