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Put these 5 tips to work in managing your gray divorce

Perhaps you and your spouse have had a long marriage, but things have changed. The children have families of their own now, and the two of you have grown apart.

If the end to your union is on the horizon, here are five tips to help you better understand and navigate your gray divorce.

1. Anticipate reduced retirement funds

Even if your spouse was at fault for the divorce, the judge will likely divide your assets evenly, which includes your retirement funds. Be prepared. Whether you are wealthy or have a moderate income, realizing that you will only have half what you expected to live on after the divorce can be a shock.

2. Expect alimony discussions

Judges often grant alimony in a divorce that ends a long-term marriage. This is especially true if one spouse is still working.

3. Consider whether to keep your home

Women often want to keep the marital home they have lived in and cared for. Keep in mind that owning a home involves paying property taxes and putting out money for repairs when necessary. Wanting to keep the home is not only an emotional decision; you will also have to give your spouse something of equal value in the property division phase of your divorce.

4. Manage the needs of your relatives

Your children might be adults, but they may still depend on you for financial help. You may also provide funds to support elderly parents. Payments to third parties are rarely included in divorce settlements, so you and your soon-to-be-ex should consider where family financial support will come from after you go your separate ways.

5. Resolve to be civil

When you go through a divorce, you are looking ahead to the next chapter in your life. Family relationships will still be important, and you will likely have some interaction with your soon-to-be-ex in the years ahead. The goal to shoot for is an amicable divorce, so avoid bitterness and anger. A reasonable, civil attitude will help you turn the page and enjoy a brighter future.

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