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Divorce Rate Among Baby Boomers

August 29, 2015-On Fox Business “The Willis Report” Sharon Liko discusses the increase of divorce among baby boomers, commonly referred to as “Gray Divorces”. During this informative discussion, Attorney Liko sheds light on what spouses should really consider when making divorce negotiations and how to properly plan for divorce.

Willis: The divorce rate among our nation’s baby boomers is escalating to new heights and is only expected to get worse. The number of “Gray Divorces” as they’re called doubled over the last decade with one in four being over the age of fifty. Divorce attorney, Sharon Liko joins me now with the consequences this has on retirement. Sharon thanks for coming on tonight.

Sharon Liko: Thank you.

Willis: I’ve got to tell you I think divorce is typically at almost every age, but it’s certainly at fifty. It’s a financial disaster.

Sharon Liko: It’s always a financial disaster. Divorce is a loss. You don’t come out whole. You cannot expect to come out whole. What you want to do is come out with as much as you can and as seamlessly as possible.

Willis: But how do you do that? Divorces are typically so contentious. Everybody is arguing over everything. People are hoarding money for goodness sakes. How do you make it as smooth as possible?

Sharon Liko: Well, you decide who you want to pay. If you want to pay the lawyers, then you are welcome to it, because you can create all types of battles. You can create all types of conflict. And at the end it’s not going to advance the ball. You know “I don’t want to pay my lawyer”, but some people would “I’d rather pay my lawyer than pay her”, which is rather stupid. But I tell you I think older people handle divorce better.

Willis: They’re more mature.

Sharon Liko: Yes. They’re more mature.

Willis: The kids may be out of the nest. What else do they have going on?

Sharon Liko: The kids may be gone. And they also realize that life is not what they planned. And they’ve come to accept that. So I think it’s easier to deal with the punches where someone in their twenties or thirties cannot believe their life is falling apart.

Willis: So tell me what is the most surprising, the single most surprising thing for boomers that go into divorce. I mean, they’ve seen it all. They’ve had friends gotten divorced, probably. But once you go through it yourself it’s a whole different kettle of fish.

Sharon Liko: It’s loss. It’s loss of a lifestyle. It’s loss of a dream. It’s loss of a station in life. I think the women who are not working are the ones who will suffer the most. Men can recover, but if a woman has been stay at home for twenty, thirty years. She is not going to be expected to go out and get a job at age sixty and support herself. And she’s been living with her husband that makes, you know, a couple hundred thousand dollars a year. She will get some maintenance-alimony and she’ll get part of his retirement. But she’s not going to have the skills to go out and rebuild. He will. And I think a lot of women don’t plan for this

Willis: What is your single best advice for people in that age category? What is that?

Sharon Liko: Get real, get a lawyer, and get counseling.

Willis: Wow. Well Sharon, you what I tell my husband. We’ve been married a long time and I say, “no one gets out alive”. You’re not getting away with me mister. Sharon, thank you so much.

Sharon Liko: Thank you.