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Property division plays larger role in 'gray divorce'

3110490_s.jpgWhen Danny DeVito and wife Rhea Perlman announced their separation, many were shocked. The couple had been married for 30 years and most assumed the two would be together for the rest of their lives. However, while there has been rumor that the two reconciled, their separation actually falls in line with the divorce trend among those older than 50. 

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 61 percent of those asked said they have seen an increase in the number of divorce cases involving couples over the age of 50. Interestingly, 22 percent said these divorces were actually initiated by the wives. 

In terms of divorce on a national level, according to the National Center for Family & Marriage Research, while the national divorce rate has been dropping over the years, the divorce rate among those over the age of 50 has actually doubled.

In these divorces, often referred to as "gray divorce" the stakes are higher when it comes to Social Security benefits and retirement funds. Unlike those getting a divorce in their 20s, those in the 50s, 60s and 70s have quite a bit saved up in these types of accounts.

Looking at these types of funds and property division, those thinking of divorce can quickly end up stuck in the mind trap that their financial livelihood -- and all that they worked for -- will be gone in the flash of an eye. However, while it is critical to make sure to include all financial information in a divorce settlement agreement, one should not necessarily assume everything will be lost. Rather, talk with a divorce attorney about these fears and to learn more about how property division works in Illinois.

Source: Huffington Post, "Gray Divorce Is On The Rise, According To New Data," June 12, 2013

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