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Maryland’s authoritative guide to divorce.

col1932graydivorceWebIn days past, a retiree received a party, a gold watch and a pat on the back when exiting the workforce, retirement was considered the end of the road. Today retirement is seen as a new beginning, a time to re-engineer a life which was previously built around raising/launching children and a busy work schedule. Modern retirees are reevaluating their goals and dreams for the next 30 years of life. But what if your goals and dreams do not match those of your spouse? What if spouses who chose each other in their 20’s or 30’s realize that that they are no longer compatible?

Enter the advent of the “grey divorce.“ Statics show that while divorce is declining for younger couples, the rate of divorce for spouses over age 60 is on the rise. Regardless of the many reasons for grey divorce, once divorce becomes a reality often the fear sets in. While divorce is may be a painful process, the outcome can be a positive and life-changing experience for both spouses. What couples do not understand is that their choice of HOW to divorce will largely govern its future effect upon the spouses, family and friends.

Divorcing in our 60s, 70s or 80s may be much more challenging due to family, social and financial entanglements. Retirees worry how their divorce will impact their grown children and grandchildren. Fear of missing out on family celebrations can connections is paralyzing. Who will retain a couple’s friends and who will be ousted from social connection? Financial concerns abound, will one or both spouses be impoverished living on half the assets? Will a working spouse owe the other lifetime alimony? The thought of divorce creates seemingly unanswerable questions and insurmountable problems.

Older divorcing couples are proving that they can move through divorce, able to attend the same social and family functions and able to live a fulfilling, financially stable life post-divorce. How is this possible? The older generation is turning the tables, blazing a new path and changing the face of divorce by decoupling using the modern methods of mediation and collaborative law. Older and wiser divorcing spouses are schooling their friends and younger family members by demonstrating that divorce does not mean the end of relationships and destruction of finances. They know that selecting the right divorce process is the key to success.

Mediation, where the spouses hire neutral representative to help them move through the process of decoupling, creates an atmosphere where couples work together rather than fighting. Skilled attorney mediators will often have the couple consult with a financial neutral to ensure a strong financial future for both spouses. While many couples enter mediation angry, hurt and scared, a divorce coach can help the spouses work through those feelings and together they craft a new reality which ensures that after divorce the ties of friend and family remain.

For spouse who need more guidance and support, Collaborative Law (which is similar to mediation) retains the availability of a divorce coach and financial neutral, yet it provides each spouse with an attorney who is specially trained to help create a harmonious solution while still ensuring that a spouses rights are honored.

Divorce does not have to be emotionally and financially traumatic, let us help you explore the potions and pave the way to a better life post-divorce. If you have questions about divorce or need advice on how to discuss divorce with your spouse, the Divorce Resource Center can help point you in the right direction. Join one of our webinars or contact us to discuss your concerns.