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Facing crucial issues in divorce beyond age 50?

Perhaps for the past few decades, you've been fully dedicated to and focused on your marriage and family life. Whether you've balanced a career outside the home in the process or have been a full-time stay-at-home parent raising children, you've likely enjoyed many happy experiences as well as overcome problems through the years. If you're one of many California residents who've chosen to divorce after age 50, you may be facing some of your toughest challenges to date.

Divorce is seldom easy at any age; however, beyond age 50, it can be extremely complicated since spouses typically have more assets and shared interests than in their earlier years together. Known as gray divorce, marital splits after 50 tend to raise a few unique concerns.

Estate planning in a digitally-based world

Before the internet, California residents building estate portfolios likely did not discuss digital assets. In fact, most people would probably wonder what they are. Nowadays, however, the majority of people in this state and throughout the country are tapped into an online world for both personal purposes and those related to business. This has changed the face of many types of transactions, including those connected to estate planning.

Considering digital assets may be a key factor in a particular estate, especially if business interests are involved. There are several things an estate owner can do to organize his or her electronic assets so when the time comes to administer the estate, everything will be spelled out. That may help family members and other concerned parties avoid confusion and stress.

How's your child doing emotionally since your divorce?

Most California parents want what's best for their children, even if it means they sometimes must make decisions that don't make their children particularly happy. If you're a parent who recently divorced, you likely have first-hand experience with this type of situation. Still, like other parents, you hate to see your child suffer, and you might be worried whether he or she is adapting to your new lifestyle in a healthy manner.

There are several things you can do to help your child navigate the divorce process and roller-coaster of emotions that often accompany such circumstances. First and foremost, remember you're not alone, as many other parents in this state and across the nation have trod similar paths. If you know where to look, it's usually possible to find a support network that can help you address any problematic issue that arises.

Avoid these estate planning issues when getting affairs in order

Many California residents want to be as prepared as possible when it comes to their own deaths. Surprisingly, however, some fail to consider the importance of careful estate planning when it comes to protecting their interests and providing for their loved ones. When a person dies with no set plan in place, his or her estate becomes intestate, meaning the probate court will make all decisions regarding its administration.

Those who possess even the most basic understanding of the probate process typically hope to help their families avoid complications as much as possible. This is because the intestate probate process is often wrought with problems that cause stress (and often discord) among family members. Those who execute solid estate plans ahead of time may prevent such problems and keep costs low.

Child custody modification doesn't modify your parental rights

Like many others in California, you probably consider raising your children one of your greatest achievements. Also like most parents, even though times are not always easy, you try to overcome any obstacles that arise and always want what's best for your kids. If you're divorced, it's likely you and your former spouse have faced a challenge or two along the way with regard to developing and carrying out a new parenting plan.

Perhaps you finally came to a satisfactory agreement and the court approved your plans by issuing a formal decree. Not all court decisions are final with regard to child custody and visitation. There are several valid reasons a parent may seek a modification of a child custody agreement; knowing ahead of time what your rights are can help you better protect them should a problematic situation arise.

The ABCs of good estate planning

Sometimes life can get rather complicated. Most California residents, especially those raising families, would agree. In many situations, however, such as where estate planning is concerned, there are several tangible steps that can be taken to keep things organized and well-structured, which often helps alleviate stress. To begin with, it's important to realize that thorough estate planning is a valuable tool for young, single people, as well as newly married couples or older spouses whose children are grown.

There are no set rules regarding how old a person must be before executing a solid estate plan. The idea is to be as prepared as possible for the most unexpected scenario, such as the sudden, untimely death of a primary income earner. The easiest way to develop a plan is to create a list of all your assets.

Now you see it, now you don't: Beware hidden assets in divorce

No two marriages are exactly the same. Yours might have been similar to others in California where you and your spouse shared everything 50/50 down to your very last penny. Other married couples prefer to retain financial independence from each other, even going so far as to maintain separate bank accounts. More often than not, however, most marriages include a substantial amount of shared property and interests. If a divorce occurs, each spouse is bound to adhere to laws governing such matters in this particular state.

California happens to be one of only nine community property states, meaning the court divides all assets equally in divorce. You obviously can't split a house, boat or car down the middle, but the court can evenly distribute assets based on the value of all jointly owned properties in marriage. This fact places some spouses at risk for criminal charges.

Did Jon Gosselin inherit a propensity to divorce?

Many California residents who divorce first experienced the process in childhood or young adult life when their own parents severed marital ties. This leads some to believe a propensity toward divorce may exist in some families. There are those who say it's mere coincidence if members of the same family choose to end their marriages; others suggest there's more to it than that. In fact, some people have insinuated that the divorce of former reality show star, Jon Gosselin, may have just been a natural course of events in his life, since his own parents battled it out for years in court.

Gosselin was married to his wife Kate when the two of them were raising eight children in public view. Theirs was one of the first reality TV shows, which drew the fascination and attention of many fans, week after week. When the couple divorced, the tabloids exploded, conjecturing all sorts of possible causal factors.

Estate planning may bring peace of mind

Considering what will become of one's property, assets and/or business interests after death is something not every California resident likes to do. In fact, some people don't even like to broach such topics. Others understand how valuable the estate planning process can be to retain control over personal and business-related belongings.

Without a will, for instance, there's no guarantee the person or people chosen by the probate court to inherit your assets will be the one/ones you would have chosen if you had executed a written plan. The probate process is often lengthy and stressful, and family members may become engaged in contentious battles if they happen to disagree with the court's decisions. Designing a solid estate plan while you're still of sound mind is one way of gaining peace of mind, since placing instructions in writing secures your own preferences.

What would make a 90-year-old man file for divorce?

It may seem safe to assume that if one is still married after many years at age 90, chances are the union will last a lifetime. Nevertheless, one can never be sure. The divorce rate among those who are age 50 and older has apparently skyrocketed in recent years. Some California couples experience a lingering breakdown in communication, while others say they've simply outgrown each other.

An elderly man in another state grew concerned when his children from a first marriage began arguing with their step-siblings from a second marriage. The central topic of the argument was their inheritance. The man seemed unable to resolve the situation, and ultimately, he chose to file for divorce.

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