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How older adults can take to protect themselves in a divorce

Divorce among spouses 55 and older is on the rise. For those who are at least 65, the chance of getting a divorce has more than doubled since 1990. These older ex-spouses could face many challenges during the property division process. For many Georgia couples, mediation may be a better solution than going to court since it's less adversarial.

One ex may have to pay spousal support. This could be particularly complex for older people who have progressed in their careers. In addition to a salary, the alimony-paying spouse may have an executive compensation package, stock options, partial company ownership and more. All of this should be calculated when deciding on alimony payments.

Georgia is an equitable property state, which means that property is to be divided equitably. It's important to realize that this does not necessarily mean 50/50. Some assets, such as inheritances, are generally considered separate property.

If the spouses have been together for at least a decade, the lower-earning partner might be able to draw Social Security payments on the higher-earning partner's income. Furthermore, the couple may want to arrange for a spouse who pays alimony or child support to have life insurance.

Some older adults may still have children at home or in college. In such scenarios, it's important to discuss how the college education will be paid for. There may be other expenses they want to assist their adult children with as well, such as a wedding or a home. During negotiations over finances, exes should try to set their emotions aside. While this is a difficult process, both individuals need to protect themselves financially. Legal counsel could help with this process.

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Hecht Family Law
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