A new trend in divorce has been unearthed by a survey conducted by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. According to a survey of the organization’s 1,600 members, 61 percent have seen an increase in the number of divorce cases amongst baby boomers, meaning those aged 50 and older. The survey found the number one issue contested in court during these cases was alimony, followed by disputes over retirement accounts.
Divorce amongst baby boomers can be complicated and emotions can run high. Older couples typically have more property which can make property division hotly contested. Additionally, as the number one issue according to the survey evidences, alimony may mean stability for one party to the divorce and financial struggle for the other. During these trying times, a family law attorney may be able to help mediate an agreement. If not, an attorney can still play a pivotal role in the divorce process to ensure a party’s interests are protected.
An alimony dispute, for example, can be negotiated before it is contested in court. Factors a court would use to determine alimony include the length of the marriage, the relative income of each party, each party’s needs and the contribution one spouse may have made toward the other spouse’s earning potential. These determinations are fact specific and the final determination of the alimony amount is within the judge’s discretion. For this reason, a prior negotiation may be in the spouse’s best interest.
Ending a marriage can be a difficult decision. For all involved, including baby boomers, the choice does not have to be viewed as an ending but can sometimes be viewed as the beginning of a new life. A dedicated family law attorney can help a divorcing spouse make pivotal legal divorce decisions that can help get that new life off on the right foot.
Source: The Miami Herald, “Survey: Baby boomers divorcing more frequently,” June 20, 2013