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Property division can complicate baby boomers' divorce

An interesting trend concerning divorce and property division is presenting itself across Florida and the rest of the nation. Divorce between baby boomer couples is at an all-time high, while divorce rates for the rest of the nation are in a slight decline. A 2009 census study finds that people who are 50 years of age and older today are twice as likely to find themselves in a divorce, versus similar couples going through divorce in 1990. Furthermore, property division in these types of divorces can present difficulties.

When baby boomers break up, the financial hit they take can be devastating. Baby boomers are not as likely as their parents to have reliable retirement pensions and savings. Also, single baby boomers may face more economic difficulties than their married counterparts, and unmarried senior citizens are likely to find themselves living in subsidized housing.

Typically, baby boomer couples pondering divorce usually have a sizeable net worth, at least when compared to 20-somethings who are considering divorce. This can make negotiations during a divorce difficult. Agreements have to be reached on IRA's, mutual funds, college costs for children and health insurance for spouses who may have relied on the coverage of the family breadwinner.

In addition, an interesting survey conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that baby boomers are more likely to believe that marriages are for happiness, rather than to raise children. Specifically, a study conducted earlier by the same group shows that 66 percent of baby boomers would rather divorce than stay in an unhappy marriage.

Ultimately, some Florida baby boomers avoid divorce for economic reasons. Property division, especially in this economy, can be difficult. Some have divorced and found they are unable to sell their house. However, if you are considering divorce, know that there are options. For example, while they may be divorced on paper, some separated couples continue to live together as they battle their financial issues. In the end, divorce is difficult, but you can ultimately find your happiness.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "Generation Ex: Boomer couples are divorcing at a record rate," Rick Montgomery, March 31, 2012

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