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Older Massachusetts couples face unique property division needs

When older people divorce, the process can be very different from the experience a younger couple might have. Some issues are easier to handle between aging partners, such as a lack of contention surrounding child custody and support. Other issues, however, become far more complicated when a Massachusetts couple has been married for a lengthy period. Among these are complex choices concerning property division.

As we age, people tend to accumulate more in the way of assets. These can be tangible assets such as furniture or real estate, or monetary assets such as investment or retirement accounts. By the time many people near or reach retirement age, there are more family assets to divide. At the same time, however, there is also a greater need to make savvy financial decision, as the implications will be felt more acutely in the retirement years when earning potentials tend to decrease.

Older couples must ensure that they begin the divorce process with a comprehensive understanding of where their family finances stand. This includes an accounting of not only all of the familial assets, but also of all outstanding debts held by both parties. In addition, it is imperative to fully understand each spouse's retirement savings, as well as how those assets should be divided.

When filing for divorce late in life, the process can feel overwhelming. This is especially true for spouses who have been married for the vast majority of their adult lives. Starting over can feel like a scary prospect, which keeps many spouses within an unhappy marriage for far too long.

It is important to remember that while a divorce represents the end of one chapter in life, it is also a new beginning. Older Massachusetts residents who emerge from a marriage have the opportunity to construct a life that suits their own unique goals and aspirations. By making well-informed decisions concerning property division during the divorce process, each party can move forward with the highest degree of financial security possible.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Coping With A Grey Divorce," Lubov Stark, Nov. 20, 2012

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