167810616-mature-couple-relationship-difficulty-gettyimagesThe most significant increase in divorces nationwide has been among baby boomers, essentially those people born between 1945 and 1965. That is not terribly surprising given the high number of people in this age range. However, it does present new dynamics to divorce to the point where the notion of “boomer divorce” has started to reshape the way divorce happens. Baby boomers who face divorce tend to have different issues, and different priorities, than other generations. For the most part their children are grown, or nearly grown. As a result, they do not need significant help with issues of custody or parenting. However, they tend to be very concerned about the well-being of their grown children; whether it comes to making sure that college is financed or addressing their children’s desire to have their parents behave amicably. Children in their late teens or early twenty’s often care deeply about their parent’s divorce and the way that their parents face divorce can have an impact on their lives. If they are in college, they want to be able to visit each parent during school breaks and acrimony between parents can make that awkward or difficult. When they look ahead toward important life events like weddings, graduations, births and baptism, they want both parents to be able to participate without bringing unwanted tension to these life events. I have heard many stories about parents who attend their child’s wedding and cannot be in the same room together. It is very sad to imagine a young bride or groom, on the most important day of their lives, having to focus on have to protect or care for one or both of their parents rather than focus on this important occasion. Many of have witnessed these sad occasions. At the same time, we have witnessed divorcing parents who are amicable with each other and can share the experience of their child’s wedding in a way that truly honors the event. Baby boomers also care a great deal about planning for their financial future and in creating a divorce agreement that allows them to eventually enjoy their retirement years.   With people living longer and remaining healthy will into their later years, there is generally a great deal of fear about the divorce altering their retirement plans. While divorce does take a financial toll on all of the family resources, including a division of retirement assets, boomers who use creative planning, including working with an interdisciplinary team that includes financial professionals, can find acceptable creative solutions. The unique problems faced by most boomers are increasingly causing them to look for more amicable and creative options to help them divorce in a way that preserves their sanity, their co-parenting and their financial nest egg as much as possible. For information about those options go to www.collaborativelaw.org or www.divorcechoice.com.

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