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Divorcing couples increase in age, concerned with retirement

The traditional picture of divorcing Chicago couples includes parents of young children saddled with mortgage and credit card debt, with little in the way of savings or equity in the home. However, today’s divorce cases are increasingly painting a very different picture: Individuals who are over 50 are more likely to be worried about their retirement accounts than child support.

In the past decade, the amount of older divorcing couples has increased dramatically. The number of couples in their 50s or older who are seeking divorces has more than doubled since the 1990s, and these couples now represent 25 percent of all divorce actions. Their financial concerns tend to focus on retirement planning rather than bill paying and costs associated with raising children.

Given the fact that many couples plan for retirement years in advance, a divorce can be a serious blow to the financial stability of one or both partners. When retirement accounts are split, the resulting sums may not be enough for either partner to retire comfortably. This means that many older couples who seek a divorce find that they must work more years than planned in order to make ends meet after retirement.

Some individuals faced with a divorce after the age of 50 seek the advice of a family law attorney. By careful management of funds and a beneficial settlement agreement, many divorcing partners are able to keep their retirement funds intact or divide them in a way that does not hurt their chances of retiring comfortably in the near future. A family law lawyer may be able to help individuals make these types of important decisions.

Source: Huffington Post, “Gray divorce drastically cuts retirement savings by thousands,” Feb. 28, 2013

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