Kimberly Staley
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Senior divorce on the rise for empty nesters

It's often said that children are the glue that keeps marriage together, especially when spouses have spent several decades together and have evolved into very different people from whom they were when they first got married. For many people, perhaps including some in Arizona, this amounts to having nothing left in common except the parenting aspect of a relationship. Many say this is a main reason senior divorce is on the rise throughout the nation.

When children grow up and move on to their own lives, many parents realize they want to do the same, minus a spouse. Public figures and celebrities such as Al Gore, Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger might agree seeing as they have all gone through divorces later in life. In fact, many may be surprised to learn that the divorce rate for those age 65 and beyond has actually tripled in the past 20 or so years.

People who go through gray divorce often find they have two things in common: it's usually a wife filing for divorce, and it can be financially difficult as well. Retirees often live on half the amount of income they had during their working years. One can imagine the financial strain that may arise if that half is divided in half again in divorce.

Senior divorce often includes a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, which pertains to a former spouse's shared interest in existing retirement or pension plans. Not every Arizona attorney is experienced in writing QDROs; so, it's best to do a little research ahead of time to find one who is. Choosing the right attorney can help prevent time-consuming and expensive mistakes, as well as protect financial interests as one moves toward a new, unmarried phase in life. 

Source: CNBC, "A costly 'gray divorce' can upend your retirement plans", Tim Sobolewski, June 21, 2017

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