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Financial issues are more complex for older divorcing couples

Entering their golden years, an increasing number of older couples in Georgia are facing complex financial issues as they end their marriages. It is well known that approximately half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. The most recent statistics, generated in 2009, indicate that 25 percent of divorces are among such older couples, a large increase from 1990, when only 10 percent of all divorces were between baby boomer couples.

A major concern among older couples getting divorced is the disposition and division of retirement funds. Dividing such funds before retirement can have adverse tax and financial consequences if not done in a careful and knowledgeable manner. That is why many Georgia couples rely heavily on their family law attorneys throughout divorce proceedings.

Older couples getting divorced need to consult with trained professionals to navigate the complicated legal, financial, and tax barriers to achieving their goals. It is important for them to craft a financial plan which takes into account their long-term needs as well as short term wishes.

This has become more complex in light of the current troubled state of the economy. Many investments have shrunk in value, and splitting a couple's assets in half may, in many instances, not leave much for either to work with. For many who thought they were soon going to retire, their financial situations as single individuals may require that they continue working, at least for a time. Many will also need to cut back on nonessential expenses.

Getting a divorce is difficult at any age, but that does not mean that baby boomers don't have certain factors that they must consider before getting a divorce that younger individuals don't. Georgians can work with their lawyers to ensure that important considerations, such as retirement, are not forgotten.

Source: Fox Business, "Graying Divorces: What Boomers Need to Know to Protect Their Assets," Andrea Murad, May 25, 2012

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law
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Marietta, GA 30060

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