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Getting through a divorce after decades of marriage

For many people in Kansas, getting the news from a spouse that a divorce is forthcoming can be devastating. The end of a marriage is almost always a hard time on both people involved, even if the decision lies with one party over the other. But, what if the couple has been married for many years, even decades? How can Kansas residents in this scenario get through a divorce?

Many people are encountering this issue in the uptick of so-called "gray" divorces. A recent article noted that in 2014 divorces involving couples over the age of 50 were twice as common as they were in 1990. There are certain issues that may be more impactful for older couples going through a divorce, particularly the financial aspects of the proceedings.

Older couples are likely to have substantially more assets that a couple in their 20's or 30's. They are more likely to own their homes outright, with no mortgage. They are also more likely to have tens of thousands of dollars saved in retirement accounts. And, the potential for one spouse to have a higher income than the other makes the likelihood of alimony higher.

Kansas couples who are going through a divorce after decades of marriage will need to make sure that they are flexible about the potential resolution of the case. While they are not likely to have to address thorny issues, such as child support or child custody, financial issues and emotions can be just as stressful.

Source: Market Watch, "Divorcing after being married for decades? Here's what to do," Alessandra Malito, Dec. 14, 2016

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