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How can I ease the pain of divorce in my 50s?

According to statistics cited in a Forbes article, divorces of couples over the age of 50 tend to make up 25 percent of divorces. These divorces, often referred to as silver or gray divorces, have specific concerns they should keep in mind when going into the process of separating from one another in order to make their divorces as easy and stress-free as possible.

First, spouses need to remember that their soon-to-be ex is not the same individual they originally married. Indeed, people change and grow over time -- for better or for worse -- and sometimes those changes necessitate a divorce because the individuals are no longer compatible. Those changes can also mean that a divorce may not be as easy to navigate as originally thought. Keeping this in mind will help spouses act as diplomatically as possible to safeguard their good relations and facilitate agreement during the process.

Second, over-50 spouses entering into divorce need to consider their financial security first. At the age of 50 and above, spouses are either retired or approaching retirement, meaning that their life savings, Social Security payments, 401(k), individual retirement accounts and investment accounts represent the lifelines they will depend upon to support themselves securely in the years to come. Honoring this fact will help spouses make good decision to divide their assets fairly and appropriately in a way that supports their financial security.

Third, remember to get professional help during the asset division process and make sure not to sign divorce paperwork until your finances are completely and appropriately divided. If all the asset division arrangements are not pinned down in the divorce agreement, issues can arise where a spouse does not honor what was promised, and then the spouse is unable to take legal action to enforce the agreement.

A qualified divorce attorney can help Tennessee spouses who are over the age of 50 navigate their divorce proceedings in a way that protects their asset division rights and supports their future financial security. A divorce attorney will be able to counsel his or her clients about their legal rights and options to prevent pitfalls and other difficulties later on down the road.

Source: Forbes, "How to survive divorce after 50," Tania Brown, accessed Oct. 13, 2016

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