Janet L. Goehle, Attorney at Law
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Twin Cities' Divorce Blind to Age

When a marriage dissolves, it is often unexpected. No matter the length of marriage or the age of the splitting couple, there are numerous obstacles that they could encounter.

A recent report from England has highlighted the trend of baby boomers divorcing after decades of marriage. This has become known as silver splitters or grey divorce. These individuals have become noteworthy for timing of their life decision. We can easily wrap out heads around a young couple that divorces early after the stress of new careers and kids reveals existing relationship problems. It is more difficult to understand, why couples that stuck it out for decades opt for divorce just as retirement approaches.

The St. Paul area is not immune from this phenomenon. Divorces come in all shapes and sizes. And, no matter the cultural narrative that each divorce inspires, each divorce is treated the same by law.

While the law may not discriminate based on age, divorcees need to understand where they are in life before negotiating or agreeing to divorce agreements. For many, child custody and parenting time is the most important aspect of a divorce agreement. Young couples with few assets do not worry much about 401ks or investment properties. Rather, they worry about being a part of their children's lives as they grow and mature.

Silver splitters rarely have the same concerns as younger divorcing couples. Their kids are usually adults that are not even considered in divorce proceedings. Instead, grey divorcees' priority is usually financial. Their splits tend to be high-asset divorces involving valuable assets acquired over the majority of one's working life.

As these individuals approach retirement, divorce can put their careful planning in a tenuous position. Those unsure of the steps needed to be taken or what their options are should get in contact with a professional. They understand the ins and outs of divorce agreements and know how to tailor each plan to the needs of each divorcee. So, if parenting time is no longer a concern, they can switch gears and make sure the divorcee secures enough assets to comfortably retire.

For those considering a later in life divorce, it is vital to consider the financial impact. Without proper representation, the freedom a baby boomer desires might be inhibited by financial hardship.

Source: The guardian, "Divorcing baby boomers seizing the opportunity to go it alone," Tracy McVeigh, June 29, 2013

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