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Retirement and divorce can go hand in hand

A growing topic of concern for people over 50 in Georgia and across the United States is divorce, especially close to and after retirement. As older people lead longer lives in greater health, the divorce rate for couples over 50 years of age has grown significantly even while the overall divorce rate for Americans has declined. During the last 20 years, the rate of divorce for couples in this age range has grown continually and is now over 50 percent. With the approach of retirement and an "empty nest" as children leave the family home, one in every four couples divorces after the age of 50.

For people who are near retirement age or have already done so, divorce can have different and substantial impacts on financial matters as well as emotional ones. Property and asset division can be particularly complex concerns. Older couples, especially those who have spent many years together, often have a range of assets, including those accumulated for the purpose of depending upon after retirement. These include real estate, stocks, bonds, investments, retirement funds, 401(k) plans and other types of property and savings.

Divorce can be an emotional, financial and logistical challenge at any age. These can be exacerbated when people divorce later in life, especially close to or following retirement, when there are many linked accounts. In addition, many couples that have been together for many years may face difficult emotional reactions from family and friends who have been accustomed to seeing them as a unit.

A family law attorney can be a particularly important resource for people who are considering divorce later in life. A divorce lawyer can provide strong representation in the division of assets and ensure that a divorcing spouse benefits from a fair division of property. An attorney also can help guide consultations with financial professionals about investments, debts and other concerns during a divorce.

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