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The Captain and Tennille and "gray divorce"

Tennessee's music industry has seen a lot of high-profile divorces, but few have been able to produce anything to rival the Internet buzz that developed recently after reports surfaced that musical duo The Captain & Tennille were planning to end their 39-year marriage. Though it has been decades since the duo had much of a public profile, they are best remembered for their 1975 No. 1 hit "Love Will Keep Us Together". Few commenting on the news could resist pointing out the irony in that song title.

The Captain & Tennille, whose real names are Daryl Dragon and Toni Tennille, met in the early 1970s and married in 1974. They had a string of hits in that decade and even had their own television variety show series on ABC. Both now over 70, the duo has been out of the limelight for years. Tennille told reporters in 2010 that Dragon had developed a neurological condition that damaged his ability to play music. Dragon told reporters that he didn't know why Tennille had filed to divorce him.

Studies show that more Americans like this couple are getting divorced later in life. Some commentators have referred to the phenomenon as "gray divorce." For older people, divorce can have many complications.

One such complication comes up during the property division part of the process. Under Tennessee law, all married couples going through a divorce must divide their marital property according to standards of fairness under state law. This is rarely an easy task, but couples who have been together for a long time tend to have more complex property division issues. What's more, couples who have been married for many years tend to have their finances commingled in many ways that are difficult to divide.

Tennessee residents going through a divorce can rely on experienced attorneys to help them through this process. Property division is often largely a process of negotiation, and it's a good idea to have the help of someone who has worked through similar negotiations in the past.

Source: USA Today, "Reports: Captain and Tennille are divorcing," Trey Barrineau, Jan. 23, 2014

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