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Why boomers must proceed cautiously with divorce

While divorce has long been linked in most people's minds to younger couples thanks to both personal experience and statistical evidence, more recent data shows that it may be time to start changing this thinking.

Indeed, data collected by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green University shows that the divorce rate for couples under 35 has actually plummeted in recent years and exploded among those couples belonging to the Baby Boomer generation.

In fact, statistics show that the rate of "gray divorce" has tripled for boomer couples over the age of 60 and doubled for those over the age of 50.

As for the reasons behind this phenomenon, researchers attribute it everything from empty nests and longer life spans to the longstanding generational trend of bucking convention.  

Interestingly enough, experts indicate that this spike in gray divorces is having both an emotional impact on the adult children of boomers, who while better equipped to deal with the fallout often find themselves having to serve as de facto confidants, as well as a financial impact.

That's because many of these divorced boomers end up moving in with their adult children either temporarily or sometimes permanently post-divorce, something that can cause household costs to rise considerably. This is more often the case if the parent has been out of the workforce for a considerable amount of time, such that it's difficult for them to find suitable employment.

Experts indicate that this reality coupled with the fact that many boomers have accumulated significant assets thanks to favorable economic conditions during their prime earning years means that they must proceed carefully and cautiously in the event of a divorce to ensure the protection of their financial interests now and into the future.

Indeed, they advise boomers who find themselves mulling a divorce to build a team of professionals on whom they can rely from a skilled legal professional and accountant to a financial planner and even a counselor.

If you are mulling a gray divorce, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn more about the law, as well as your rights and your options for helping secure an equitable division of property. 

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