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The graying of divorce as more seniors divorce

Divorce often involves families during their early years. They may have young children and the concerns of child custody and child support may weigh heavily on the proceedings. Older couples found marriage less socially acceptable, and often remained in marriages to save face.

No longer. A growing trend is that of the so-called "gray divorce." In the last two decades, leading to a doubling of the divorce rate among those age 50 or older. Some have attributed it to baby boomers being less willing to remain in a stale marriage and to the growing financial independent of many women. 

Divorce within this demographic cohort may be very different from that of a couple in the early 30s. For one, there are often no issues involving child custody and support, as the children may be adults and finished with college.

There is a much greater likelihood of alimony, because in Georgia, as in many states, the length of the marriage is a factor for the court to consider in determining if alimony will be granted. If a spouse in her 60s never worked outside the home, her ability to obtain any employment may be limited and a court may allow permanent alimony.

If a spouse were younger and had been employed in some capacity, a court may only allow temporary alimony to allow that spouse to obtain additional training or education.

Retirement accounts, pensions and social security may play a more important role in your property division and you should make certain your attorney has identified all the sources of future income. Claiming some of these benefits may be complex, and it is important that your divorce settlement included the necessary timelines and mechanisms, detailing how and when the divorced spouse will go about that process.

Usnews.com, "7 Things to Know About Divorcing During Your Senior Years," Maryalene LaPonsie, April 24, 2015

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