If you have been married for a long time, but are now thinking about divorce, you’re not alone. The number of older people getting a divorce is growing. In fact, couples over the age of 50 now account for 25 percent of divorces nationally.

Unlike some of their younger or less long-term married counterparts, older couples may have substantial assets to consider in an Ohio divorce. These assets may have been accumulated over the course of many years and can include savings, investments and retirement accounts.

Some note that the split of retirement accounts can be especially important for those over 50. For some couples who choose mediation in divorce, the division of these accounts can be negotiable. But it may be a good idea to start planning for a cutback, because often a retirement account is split in some way no matter whose name is on it.

The family home can also be a subject of contention in divorce. For many couples, despite its sentimental value, the cost of the home is more than what they can afford post-dissolution. In those cases it may be beneficial to sell the family home. In other instances, one spouse may negotiate to stay in the home after the separation is complete.

For some older couples in Ohio, the idea of negotiation is appealing. Using mediation or collaborative divorce allows you to work through many, if not all, of the issues that are common in divorce without the intervention of a court. However, if you and your soon-to-be ex cannot come to an agreement on an issue, the court can be asked to make a decision. Mediation or collaborative divorce may be less stressful for some than the more traditional litigation process.

Source: AARP, “6 Ways to Protect Your Money In a Divorce,” Sid Kirchheimer, May 16, 2012