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Complexities involved in a gray divorce

For many couples, they get along for several years without any major problems. The couple will get married, have children and grow old together like they intended. Although they have been married for decades, they have determined that it is best they part ways. Even when married couples in Massachusetts are reaching retirement age and their children have long left the home, more arguments develop and they can no longer get along. Because they have several years and even decades of property, divorcing after being together for so long can be very difficult, especially when it comes to property division and dealing with retirement assets.

A recent report discussed the challenges a married couple would go through when one or both of the spouses retired. Even when the couple has adequately planned financially for retirement, when they finally take the plunge and go through it, other problems could present themselves. In one particular example, both spouses had well defined roles in the relationship, but retirement shifted those roles causing them to be emotionally uneasy.

Because the couple now spends more time together, have to change their financial habits, have different household responsibilities and their life goals have significantly altered, disputes might occur more frequently between the couple. These types of changes could be the cause of gray divorces. Although the overall divorce rate has dropped over the past 25 years, the rate for gray divorces has doubled.

When couples decide to divorce later in life, this could mean complex property division issues. In addition, if the spouses are receiving retirement assets, this could cause difficulties in the distribution of assets. Furthermore, many of the women in the category of going though a gray divorce often have not been in the work force at all, which could cause the need for alimony or spousal support.

When any couple goes through a divorce, there are numerous issues and factors to consider. A gray divorce could mean a more complex dissolution, so it is important that both spouses understand their situation and what rights and options they have moving forward.

Source: Yahoo! News, "The New Retirement Trap: How to Avoid Gray Divorce," Christina Couch, Nov 7, 2013

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