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Baby boom divorces may involve unique issues

People who choose to divorce after many years of marriage may face different issues than divorces involving younger couples. The divorce rate of people over the age of 50 has been rising steadily over the years.

People in finance and those who deal with family law issues note that just 20 years ago only about 10 percent of people over the age of 50 had been through divorce. Today, the statistics are closed to 25 percent of the over 50 population. Commentators or sociologists often seem to focus upon what may underlie the trend, although some say it is a matter of simple mathematics as the overall U.S. population ages with the baby boom generation.

It is important to note that there is no single solution that will apply to every divorce. Among baby boomers, some couples have lived in a one-income household for many years, while others have involved two-income households. People over 50, and those over 60, are less likely to have small children than younger parents. Child custody disputes may not be as prevalent in so-called “silver divorces. Financial issues, on the other hand, may be prominent in divorces that follow a long marriage.

As people move closer to retirement age, contentious issues can arise in such areas as property division, spousal support and other financial considerations. Make no mistake, financial issues are important in divorce at any age, but if assets have been held for many years, the property division issues may be more complex.

Take for instance the tax considerations that may arise if an asset, like a Texas property, is sold. While the market value of the home is an important consideration, selling the home may have tax implications that may not be apparent in a market-price analysis of the home. Working with a divorce lawyer familiar with high-asset divorces and property division matters may help in avoiding pitfalls in property division.

Source: Fox Business, “Divorcing Baby Boomers: How to Get a Financial Grip,” Donna Fuscaldo, April 30, 2014

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