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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

Tennessee retirees who divorce face specific issues

Tennessee residents who are approaching retirement age may have unique financial issues when they file for divorce. Family law attorneys believe that these so-called gray divorces leave people in positions of lessened financial stability and could make it more difficult for them to regain their previous quality of life. For instance, problems like low cash flows may increase the burdens elder divorcees experience due to credit card bills, loans and similar debts.

The unique challenges of elderly splits haven't stopped divorce rates from rising among these age groups. Between 1990 and 2012, the number of divorces involving people at or older than the age of 65 tripled, according to Bowling Green State University researchers, while in the same period, the number among those between 55 and 64 more than doubled. According to advisers, proactive financial planning is essential for divorcees who fall into these categories.

Mechanisms like retirement contribution catch-up rules can be useful for helping the elderly get more out of their retirement plans after they split. These individuals are also advised to devote prompt attention to necessary estate planning changes, such as designating new power of attorney holders to avoid protracted court battles over who should be permitted to make financial and health care decisions.

Filing for divorce can be tough for those who fail to plan things out properly. While both parties are usually justified in their desire to maintain their standards of living, issues like emotional entanglement, the circumstances of the divorce and other factors can dramatically increase the difficulty of coming to amicable resolutions. In some cases, emotional disputes even result in unsustainable arrangements. As divorces among people who have been married for a long time often involve complex property division, a person who is facing the end of such a marriage may want to have the assistance of a family law attorney in handling these and other applicable legal issues.

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