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What to keep in mind if you're over 50 and divorcing

So you're over 50 and have decided to get a divorce. You've thought it over and know that divorce is the right choice, but you may be unsure of what to do next. If you have kids, they're probably adults now, so child custody won't be a factor. You will, however, have to think about spousal support and property division as you and your ex begin to separate your lives.

As you start the process of divorce, working with an experienced attorney who will represent your best interests is very important. Dividing up the assets accumulated during a decades-long marriage can be complicated and very complex, so it's important to have someone on your side who knows what questions to ask.

When it comes to finances, spousal support will likely come up if one spouse hasn't worked in several years. Another important aspect of a later-life divorce is health insurance. If you're almost at retirement age, but haven't quite hit it, you will need some coverage, whether through your own or through a temporary plan until you qualify for Medicare.

Getting divorced after many years of marriage can be overwhelming and stressful, even if you know it's the right thing for both you. Some may take comfort in the fact that they are not alone. Currently, divorces between people over 50 make up 25 percent of all divorces in the U.S. To get through this time, it's important to ensure that you understand all of your rights and your options.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Post-50 divorce rate doubled in 20 years," Leslie Mann, Feb. 27, 2013

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