Distributing assets can be a challenge for older couples

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As people get older in Virginia, they may be ready for a change from the mundane. This is particularly true since the life expectancy today is longer than it ever used to be. For some individuals, embracing a change in life might mean getting divorced from the person to whom one has been married for years, and distributing assets between the two may then become necessary.

There is a growing trend of people in their 50s and 60s getting divorced even after having been married for 30 years or longer. Although divorce used to carry a negative stigma during the 1970s, this has changed; and now older people are more willing to call it quits if their marriages are not fulfilling. Still, getting a divorce can be difficult both emotionally and financially no matter how old a person is.

The situation can be challenging emotionally since people often don't see themselves being alone as they age. The ordeal can also be trying financially because divorced senior citizens are forced to rethink their long-term retirement and travel plans. Some people might end up having to work longer than initially planned, while others may opt to take their Social Security retirement benefits early.

The struggle that many divorcing individuals face is dealing with fairly distributing assets and dividing property. If a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement delineates how the couple's assets will be distributed, then the process is much easier. The couple otherwise can try to go to the negotiation table to reach an agreement that both can work with. If they can't accomplish this, then a judge will figure out how their assets will be divided equitably in Virginia.

Source: tdn.com, "Suddenly single: Boomers lead the way in silver divorces", Ana Veciana-Suarez, May 6, 2014

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