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Almost half of all marriages, in California and across the country, end in divorce. For those married couples over the age of 50, the divorce rate has doubled over the past 20 years, according to a large university study. The study showed that in 2009, almost one in four divorces filed in the U.S. was for these more mature couples.

It was reported that unlike divorcing couples who have young children, older people tend to fight over money more than other issues. Concerns about retirement and substantial assets obtained over a long marriage can lead to contention in a California divorce. Older couples are often able to avoid child custody disputes because their children are grown or are old enough to be able to assert their opinion concerning where they want to live.

Financial experts experienced in the divorce process suggest that a couple discussing separation should first lay out a budget that details all of their expenses. Considering what it will take to support two households may well be a good first step in the negotiation process. Next, the couple might consider the time left before retirement, their nest egg, future income streams and any businesses that have developed during the course of the marriage.

All of these considerations can help a divorcing couple come to an agreement on the division of their martial assets. Without such discussions, a court may be asked to make a determination. But as with most things in life, it is generally better to strive for an equitable agreement rather than cast one's fate to the rigors of litigation and the sometimes uneven results it brings.

Source: Fox Business, "The Boomer's Guide to Divorce," Kathryn Tuggle, March 7, 2012

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