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What you should know about gray divorce

Long-time marriages in Clinton Township, Michigan, are subject to some of the same stressors as those of only a few years, but they also have some unique challenges. Even so, a recent study shows that divorce over the age of 50 is becoming so common, it has a name – gray divorce. The shift may be because people are living longer, while at the same time the Baby Boomer generation wants more from the so-called golden years. Before deciding to end the relationship, it is worth considering whether ending the marriage will solve the problems at hand without creating new ones that are worse.

AARP points out that those who are focused on the immediate issues of the divorce such as division of property may not consider the years ahead when medical issues may require the attention of a caregiver. Married men are often cared for by their wives when they begin to require assistance. Those who are single may need to either hire someone or make the move to an assisted living center or nursing home at a younger age.

Single women are not as likely to have the financial resources to procure the help they need as those who remain married. This is because the division of retirement and savings accounts leave many with less than they need to maintain their former standard of living. As a result, even before they reach the stage where they are unable to live alone any longer, women may have financial difficulties. About 20 percent of single women are living in poverty.

When staying in the marriage is not an option, many who are newly single are turning to alternatives for the companionship and financial stability they have lost. Finding roommates, living with a family member or moving to a community for older adults may be viable options for those who are unwilling to settle for a long, unhappy relationship.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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