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Effects of divorce on older adults

Minnesota couples who are in their 50s or older might be more likely to get a divorce than they would have been 25 or more years earlier. According to research, divorce for older couples is on the rise, and the highest increase compared to previous decades is among people over 65.

Such a change late in life could mean that older people are looking for work and seeking new housing. It is important for them to get a handle on their budgets so that they understand what their needs will be. Getting a job may be necessary because it is more costly to maintain two households than one. People may be unable to afford to remain in the family home, and increasingly, older adults who are single may share a household. It might be possible to claim on an ex-spouse's Social Security benefits.

Often, divorces are set in motion by women over 60 who recognize them as an opportunity for a new life. While a divorce can be emotionally devastating, some people also find that it is a time of opportunity.

When people are considering a divorce, one of their first steps might be to visit an attorney and discuss how their financial situation might be affected by such a change. Those whose spouses have never worked outside the home might be concerned about how much of their retirement account they may be able to keep and whether they will need to pay spousal support. Others might be worried about how they will support themselves. In some cases, a couple may reach an agreement regarding property division and support through negotiation rather than having a judge decide.

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