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Divorce later in life can carry costs

In North Carolina and across the United States, the divorce rate for people above the age of 50 has increased. Nationally, the rate of divorce for couples in this age group has escalated by 50 percent since 1987. One in four couples divorced after the age of 50; this can pose challenging and difficult questions for dealing with finances.

The impact of divorce can be different for people who have stopped working or who are close to retirement. The division of assets can include real estate, pensions, retirement savings and plans, stock options and other investments. In addition, life insurance, care insurance and other policies are often deeply intertwined, especially for long-time couples. This can make divorce later in life particularly complex with less time to recover financially.

Of course, it can also be difficult on an emotional level as well. Family and friends can find it difficult to deal with the divorce of a couple who have been together for most of their lives. At the same time, however, there is a growing dating scene for both divorced and widowed people later in life. However, the ability to enjoy it can be more difficult in the case of financial hardship.

Divorces can cause increased withdrawals or mandatory division of a retirement fund as well as escalated debt, especially as one household becomes two. It’s important also for people divorcing later in life to plan for the issues that can come with a contested divorce, including the emotional and financial aspects of the end of the marriage.

People considering filing for divorce can consult with a family law attorney to discuss plans for the end of a marriage as well as the details of its impact on a person at or near retirement. A family law lawyer can help older people seeking divorce with representation and advocacy that protects their rights and their assets.