Divorce is Soaring Amongst Seniors
Zephyrhills, FL (Law Firm Newswire) July 27, 2012 – New research has revealed that the rate of divorce has increased greatly among older Americans.
The trend is significant, as the United States is already the top country in the world for divorce. As baby boomers enter their golden years, divorce rates may increase even more.
I-Fen Lin and Susan Brown, of the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green University, conducted a study that showed that for Americans 50 years old or older, the rate of divorce doubled between 1990 and 2009. This held true for Americans over age 65 as well, though there were more divorces in the 50-65 group.
People who have already been divorced one or more times, are two-and-a-half times more likely to have another divorce, than people married for the first time. The researchers said that 50 percent of divorces for people aged 50 or older were remarriages, and they said the trend would continue to increase.
The study did not attempt to explain the surge in divorce, but cited previous research that uncovered several broad trends. These include the fact that divorce is more socially accepted, that women are more financially independent, and the simple fact that the population of seniors has increased.
Financial and legal experts say that seniors facing divorce need to be prepared for the challenges.
First it should go without saying that anyone considering divorce should speak to a family law attorney.
“There are special legal considerations for seniors contemplating divorce, and it is essential to have experienced legal counsel,” said Zephyrhills family law attorney Marcie Baker. “In addition to handling the divorce, an attorney can give advice regarding the necessity of new legal documents such as wills, health care directives, and insurance policies. Divorce is one of the most emotional life experiences, and it is important to have an adviser who can focus on the practical matters and protect your interests.”
Second, seniors contemplating divorce need to get their financial houses in order. Each party should carefully examine financial documents, copy them, and store them in a safe location. Bank statements and credit reports are valuable documents to have, as many married seniors are unaware of the details of their spouses’ finances. There may be debt that one party took on, but that both parties may be jointly responsible for. Seniors also need to examine ownership of assets, such as how title to property is recorded.
Finally, there is the matter of preventive steps. Thinking about what arrangements would need to be made in the event of a divorce is not unusual, especially in the case of second marriages. When both parties educate themselves, and ensure that they are equal partners in the financial affairs of the household, then in the event of divorce, there will be far fewer problems.
Marcie Baker is a partner in the firm of Alston & Baker, P. A. To contact a Zephyrhills Social Security lawyer, Zephyrhills accident attorney, or Zephyrhills divorce lawyer, visit http://www.alstonbakerlaw.com.
Alston & Baker, P.A.
5518 Seventh Street
Zephyrhills, Florida 33542
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