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So-called 'gray divorces' becoming more common

The divorce rate for older Americans has virtually doubled over the past 20 years, according to recent research out of Bowling Green State University. Houston family law lawyers are aware that, generally, no matter the age of a couple when a marriage breaks down, important issues involving money and the kids may impact the divorce negotiations.

Child custody and child support issues may not be on the radar for many Texas couples who are going through a divorce if the kids are grown, but for mature couples, dividing assets may very well be complicated for mature Texans who have raised kids in a blended family.

The recent research indicates that in 2009, one in four divorces occurred among couples who were age 50 or older, according to the study, The Gray Divorce Revolution. Many mature couples who seek divorce have been married for many years. In other cases, a significant number of divorces occur among mature spouses who have been married for a shorter period of time and involve blended families.

Not surprisingly, many financial planners say that dividing assets in a divorce among more mature Americans can take some finesse to help to assure financial security for the individuals after divorce. An income stream, or two income streams that once served a single household budget, may become more problematic in supporting what essentially becomes two households after the divorce.

Prenuptial agreements can often reduce stress if a marriage breaks down, and many who watch family law issues say that there has been a significant rise in the use of such agreements in recent years.

However, for those who did not enter an agreement earlier in life-that is a prenuptial agreement before marriage, or what is commonly referred to as a postnuptial agreement, which is entered into after the wedding-coming to an agreement on asset division early can help reduce the stress of the overall divorce.

Couples who are among the baby boomer generation who have been married for a significant period of time often have complex financial structures, including not only real property and bank accounts, but also retirement accounts and plans, and more assets.

An experienced Houston divorce lawyer can help a person contemplating divorce to navigate not only the tough issues that may arise under the law, but also in navigating complex asset structures in an individual situation.

Source: Fox Business, "The Boomer's Guide to Divorce," Kathryn Tuggle, March 7, 2012

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