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Wisdom may come with age in divorce

Many times, when those in Englewood, Colorado, think of divorce, they imagine a couple in their mid-thirties, with young children, attempting to reach a child custody and visitation settlement. Yet as the baby boomer generation started reaching retirement age, national divorce statistics began to prove this preconceived notion wrong. As the largest generation in our nation's history ages, it may not be too surprising that baby boomers' divorce rates are three times higher than that of their parents.

A spike in the number of senior aged divorcees doesn't necessarily mean a spike in contentious divorce proceedings. In fact, many boomer divorces are devoid of litigious court battles or even intense arguments. The trend boomers are moving toward is that of non-traditional solutions such as mediation, delay of divorce to suit individual circumstances and amicable splits with few disputes.

The reasons for a non-confrontational divorce process are enlightening. Many older couples decide to split later in life for less than contentious reasons, since many couples tend to grow apart over the years. Understanding this reality, this generation of divorcees tends to be more open to suggestions and solutions, rather than focusing on their personal desires. Frequently, these couples recognize their ongoing family commitments and agree to remain civil and respectful to each other in order to preserve long-held familial bonds.

Typically, boomers have been married for decades. There is an understanding that both spouses have a claim to retirement funds, homes and property. Some couples even delay filing for divorce, if they find that medical or retirement benefits may be lost or reduced by acting too quickly. In these instances, the parties can either formally or informally agree to file on a certain date, by consulting with a trustworthy family law professional.

A 'gray' divorce can be disruptive and change the course of lives, but the stress of the decision tends to be softened by the parties' willingness to treat each other with the dignity and respect they deserve. Older Colorado couples seeking divorce may find that their split is more easily managed by remaining patient and cooperating to resolve their differences to come to a mutually-agreeable divorce settlement.

Source: Huffington Post, "Navigating the Gray Divorce with Dignity," Andrea Vacca, June 6, 2012

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