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"Gray" divorces on the rise

The number of older people seeking divorces appears to be rising, leading to more high-asset divorce cases. These divorces tend to involve complicated divisions of property and other complex legal issues not usually found in divorce among younger couples.

According to a Wall Street Journal article, a study by Bowling Green State University indicates that the divorce rate for couples age 50 or older has doubled since 1990. The results of the study indicate that about 25 percent of all people who go through divorce are over the age of 50. This could be due to an aging population and the fact that people are living longer, but there could also be other factors that contribute to the rising divorce rate that further studies may uncover.

When older couples divorce, there are different legal issues involved than when a young couple with children dissolves a marriage. For one thing, older couples tend to have accumulated more assets that must be divided. Older couples may also rely on each other's health insurance coverage and must replace that coverage, which can be very expensive. Finally, older couples must consider their children's feelings and financial arrangements, even if the children are already adults.

A couple that chooses to divorce at a more advanced age can benefit from the advice of a divorce attorney. There are unique factors that must be considered in a "gray divorce," and a divorce lawyer can identify these issues and explain them to couples who decide to end a long-term marriage with a large accumulation of assets.

Sources: WKMG News, "Divorce rates rising among older people," Oct. 29, 2012

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