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Boomer separations lead to complex asset division

When long-married individuals look around their homes, most see many things accrued during their marriages. These are all considered assets legally, and couples who stay married into their golden years likely have a lot of assets and not all of them may be immediately obvious. For those in Alberta facing what is being termed "grey divorce," complex asset division is going to be a fact of their new lives.

As time passes, the number of possessions to which one spouse can point and definitively declare as his or hers diminishes. Even when one partner is the primary breadwinner, many major purchases are still made jointly or signed for by both parties. Homes, vehicles, and investments frequently fall into this category of clear joint ownership.

However, anything that is held jointly between spouses can and will be looked at as an asset that is up for grabs when a divorce settlement is being hammered out unless there already exists a legal agreement as to ownership. These assets include not only the household goods and bric-a-brac but also less tangible holdings as well. Customer loyalty rewards, such as air miles or Optimum points, vacation time-share ownership, season tickets and subscriptions are all examples of assets. Even certain rights, health benefits and, of course, bank accounts and financial holdings are all subject to ownership claims.

Divorce at any age can be a daunting process. For those age 50 and older, matters are often extremely complicated, more so than may be apparent at first. To help ease the transition and settle the complex asset division satisfactorily, an Alberta family law firm is a valuable asset to have.

Source: Grand Rapids Business Journal, "'Gray divorces' and 'silver separations' present special challenges", William E. Rohn and Bob Rutgers, August 5, 2016

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