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The divorce process is different after decades of marriage

Plenty of news articles exist about couples ending their marriages after decades together. The notion of staying in a loveless or unfulfilled marriage out of some duty or because there is no other choice has virtually disappeared from society. Older Louisiana residents feel they can start over, but they also need to know that the divorce process will be different for them than their younger counterparts.

After years together, a Louisiana couple's finances can be so intertwined that it is difficult to determine what belongs to whom. Furthermore, many couples live on a fixed income from retirement and/or Social Security at this point in their lives. The thought of making that income support two households can be frightening. It would be beneficial to take a realistic look at the finances to determine what is needed in order to live after the divorce.

This might mean giving up the marital home despite the memories and other emotional attachments it holds for either party. It would not make fiscal sense to keep a house and give up other assets, including cash, if the funds will not be there for maintenance/repairs, taxes and mortgage loan payments, if there are any, along with other financial obligations that come with owning a home. As difficult as it might be to face, selling the home might be the better option to help support both parties post-divorce.

These and other property decisions will need to be made, and each of them will require an objective viewpoint in order to see the real cost of each asset. Understanding the full financial picture is essential to getting through the divorce process with some sense of security. Getting the answers to the questions an individual did not even know to ask can help make that happen.

Source: MarketWatch, "Divorcing after being married for decades? Here's what to do", Alessandra Malito, Dec. 14, 2016

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