Divorce can be a messy affair for couples of any age, but as a book published by the American Bar Association a few years ago points out, a break-up can be all the more complicated when it involves older people.
“Divorce in the Golden Years: Estate Planning, Spousal Support, and Retirement Issues for Clients at Midlife and Beyond,” written by Leslie Ann Shaner, covers the topic nicely.
“There can be many complications in handling the divorce of older clients, those that have had the chance to own a home, build retirement savings and have an investment portfolio,” according to the ABA’s website. “Because many of these couples have achieved some level of personal and financial security during the marriage, the lawyer is faced with a multitude of difficult and complex issues. And the number of these clients aged 45 and over will only grow: there are currently 80 million Baby Boomers, and they are indeed getting divorced. ‘Divorce in the Golden Years’ is a unique reference for the family lawyer that details how to handle the assets that a divorcing couple has accumulated while considering the special issues related to the age of the clients or the duration of their marriage.”
In the introduction to the book, Shaner, an attorney in Richmond, Va., points out that there are some very real challenges to handling such divorce cases.
“Not only are there financial complexities, many of these clients require additional time and attention to process the ramifications of these decisions,” the site noted. “Lawyers must also be prepared for a higher incidence of death in these clients, and because of this it is important to focus on what will happen to a couple’s assets upon one of the parties’ deaths either during or after divorce.”