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Baby boomer divorces increase, complex asset division follows

Our Maryland readers may know that the divorce rate among the so-called “baby boomers” is rising quickly. Most probably already know that the United States has one of the highest divorce rates in the world, and when it comes to a split between baby boomers, the situation is likely to involve a complex asset division and high-asset divorce.

A divorce is rarely a simple process, but sometimes they do not need to get overly complex. For example, if a couple has no kids and little property to dispute, a divorce can actually proceed rather quickly. But when splitting the marital property involves assets such as retirement plans, pensions, business assets, 401(k)s, and real estate, the process can become much more complicated.

This type of complex asset division is usually part of a baby boomer divorce, to some extent. Research results have shown that the divorce rate among Americans ages fifty and older has doubled since 1990. These are couples who were most likely trying to achieve the “American Dream” of owning a home, and two cars and securing investment assets for a cushy retirement. Further, even after a first divorce, people in this age group are also likely to remarry, which can lead to complex asset division down the road.

It can be sad to think of increasing divorce rates – many times a divorce means that a once-intact family unit will be no more and that anything caught in the middle of the divorcing couple will be forced in some way to take sides. But it is also important to remember that divorce presents a new beginning for two people who were in an uncomfortable and unhappy situation – whether it is baby boomers or members of another generation.

Source: U.S. News, “Financial Safeguards Needed as Senior Divorces Soar,” July 6, 2012

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