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Gray divorce on the rise

When many people in Mississippi think of divorce, they may think of a couple with children hashing out child support and custody details. However, some reports indicate that the divorce rate of people over 50 rose significantly over a 20 year period. While many of these couples may not have to argue about child custody, gray divorces, as they are called by some, can present their own unique challenges.

If you are over 50 and going through divorce, it is important to consider your long term financial stability. Many people will not have time to recoup any financial losses in a divorce in order to plan for retirement, making the process of dividing assets especially important. Fortunately, there are some tips to help the process go faster and more smoothly. For example, it may be easier to approach property division as one would approach a business transaction. If some of the subjectivity can be removed from the process, property may be divided more quickly and with less animosity, potentially saving a divorcing couple legal fees.

In order to achieve this objectivity, many people have sought the guidance of a third party who can help impartially value any assets. Once that has been completed, a mediator can help fairly divide the assets. Some also recommend truly examining the practicality of an asset. For example, some people may automatically assume that the marital house is the best asset without considering any potential loss in value or the cost of maintaining the property. In many cases, a retirement account may have more practical value than a house.

Another area to consider is health insurance. As people age, they tend to incur more health-related expenses, and a spouse who has been on another's policy may have difficulty securing another policy in some circumstances. In some cases, a spouse may be allowed to stay on a policy. However, if this is not an option, it may be prudent to include the cost of insurance in negotiations.

While the divorce process is often portrayed as contentious and filled with bitterness, many people in Mississippi have found that doesn't have to be the case. Some couples are able to sort out their differences and divide their property efficiently without being consumed by negative emotions. An experienced attorney can help you sort out your options as well as negotiate on your behalf throughout the process.

Source: USA Today, "Protect finances in later-in-life divorce", Anna Helhoski, Nov. 23, 2014

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