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2 challenges associated with a 'gray divorce'

Divorce after 50 used to be an uncommon occurrence. Perhaps this was because, in the past, the so-called "great generation" was from a different era when divorce was not really an option. These days, with more and more baby boomers retiring, we can see the effects that a different mindset has on marriage commitments. For the baby boomers of today -- who grew up during the social revolution the 60s -- getting divorced is the rational thing to do when one or more spouses don't want to be together anymore.

That said, there are unique challenges associated with a divorce after 50. Here are two of them:

1. The financial challenges of a gray divorce

Those who divorce after the age of 50 may not need to worry about their children because their kids are probably already adults. They will, however, face the complicated task of dividing their assets which could be much more extensive than the assets that belong to younger people.

A 50-plus person may own more than one home, have multiple retirement and investment accounts, life insurance and other property. All of this property will need to be valued, reviewed by a tax professional and divided according to marital property laws. Asset division for 50-plus spouses can be a time-consuming and complicated process.

2. Dealing with single life and loneliness

Having lived with another person for decades means that 50-plus spouses may not be accustomed to living life alone as a single person. Just like a widow or widower faces challenges related to loneliness after the death of a spouse, 50-plus divorcees will also need to learn how to live and thrive as a solo person and make new friends. This is easier for some people than it is for others -- especially if the children are grown up and gone.

Are you considering a divorce after 50?

Because a divorce after 50 tends to deal with more money and assets, property division needs to be handled carefully. You may need to use the services of an accountant, an appraiser and a tax professional to ensure that you divide your property fairly and respectfully. Make sure you fully understand all of the issues in your divorce to protect your legal rights and safeguard your post-divorce financial situation.

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