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How divorce affects older adults' lives

Divorce is on the rise for older adults. Older people in Kansas who get a divorce should be careful about potentially adverse health effects of divorce. The chronic stress and depression associated with divorce can exacerbate health problems such as Parkinson's disease, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, and it can weaken the immune system overall.

People also need to make sure that divorce does not leave them without social outlets. They should make an effort to join clubs or organizations and leave the house daily after divorce. Men may be particularly affected by isolation since women tend to be the social organizers. Older women who divorce are more likely than men to have financial concerns.

Experts theorize that changing expectations for marriage, a longer lifespan and more financial autonomy for women may all contribute to the higher divorce rate in this age group. Many people are happier after divorce, and divorce can be a healthier option than remaining in a toxic marriage. People can also take steps to stay emotionally and physically healthy by avoiding alcohol abuse, exercising regularly and getting professional help if necessary. Some people benefit from adopting a pet.

Older adults may not need to worry about child custody and support issues in a divorce, but the process of property division could be complex. Certain types of retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s, can be a particularly complicated part of a divorce if they require a document called a qualified domestic relations order. Without this, people may end up paying taxes and penalties. People should also be aware of whether selling certain types of property will result in capital gains taxes and other types of expenses that could reduce the worth of an asset.

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