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Older couples increasingly require family law assistance

Despite the apparent stability of older people relative to their younger counterparts, baby boomers are responsible for a surprising statistic: men and women over the age of 50 are getting divorced more than ever. The phenomenon, known as 'grey divorce,' is relatively unprecedented. Anyone who is or who is about to experience this first-hand may appreciate a little more information about Alberta family law.

A study south of the border found that since the 1990s, the rate of divorce for adults over 50 has doubled, to 10 percent. It is reasonable to assume that figure is similar in Canada. The possible reasons are plentiful: people live longer and may look for a change, a long marriage provides more time to drift apart, or people grow restless after the kids have gone. Whatever the reason, older people are ending their marriages more often than ever before.

Older couples are often parents and grandparents, and looked upon as the heads of the family. As such, it may be best for the whole family if the divorce can be handled carefully and collaboratively. A good place to start is by getting to know one's financial situation. Thoroughly understanding one's assets, debts, income and expenditures will help when planning for the future and in quickly settling the division of the marital holdings.

Where possible, settling out of court may save money and spare emotions. A litigated divorce can needlessly waste assets and has the potential to divide a family. Neither are appealing prospects. The best approach may be to work issues out together rationally, with emotions held in check.

Divorce is never easy, regardless of one's age, but older couples face special challenges during this time. Though one may have the wisdom of experience, there is no shame in seeking help during this unfamiliar process. An Alberta family law firm is probably the best place to turn for assistance.

Source: bnn.ca, "'Grey divorce' is on the rise", Pattie Lovett-Reid, March 20, 2017

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