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Over the last several months, divorce attorneys across the country have been bracing themselves for a marked increase in divorce filings in the wake of the highly-publicized leak of subscriber data from the affair-seeking website Ashley Madison. Earlier in the summer, hackers leaked the personal and subscription information for some 37 million users, raising not only privacy fears but exposing millions of would-be cheaters. In many marriages, infidelity represents a symptom of much deeper problems, but is often the breaking point at which divorce becomes the best option.
Whether your spouse’s name was among the list of Ashley Madison users or he or she has admitted to an affair unrelated to the infamous hack, you may be wondering how his or her actions will be taken into account during the divorce process. Does it even make a difference? Unfortunately, however, there is no clear-cut answer to this question, because, as with most aspects of divorce, the impact is dependent upon the exact circumstances of your particular case and the state within which you reside.
After weeks or months of negotiation or litigation, you are finally nearing the end of the divorce process. You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have developed—with or without the imposition of the court—arrangements for your children, your marital home, and for the general division of your marital property. Now, it would seem, all you need is the signed judgment for divorce, or divorce decree, and you can focus on your new, post-divorce reality. If you have life insurance or retirement investments, however, you probably still have some work to do.
The Role of a Beneficiary
When you purchase a life insurance policy, you are looking to provide a level of security for your family and loved ones in the event of your team. Thus, one of the most important provisions of any life insurance contract is the person or persons to whom the benefits will be paid. An intended recipient is called a beneficiary, and as the policyholder, it is up to you to select your beneficiaries. For those who are married, spouses and children are, by far, the most common beneficiary choices.
Nearly everyone can recall a grandparent or older relative explaining how “things were different in my day.” In what seems to be a never-ending cycle, each generation observes the modern world while wistfully, and sometimes inaccurately, remembering the way things used to be. As socially acceptable behavior evolves over time, however, the older generations may find themselves caught up in the middle of unexpected trends. A good example can be found in the rising divorce rate of older Americans, many of whom never thought that divorce was something that could ever happen to them.
Older divorce, sometimes called “gray divorce,” is on the rise in the United States, according to a study conducted by researchers at Bowling Green State University. In fact, the rate of divorce for Americans over 50 has doubled in the last quarter century, and there are currently more older Americans who are divorced than who are widowed. As people in this country continue to live longer, sociologists expect these numbers to keep rising.
Gray Divorce Study
After a divorce or the end of a relationship, it can often be very difficult for ex-spouses or partners to be in the same room. Often one or both spouses will even make changes to their social lives so as to reduce the possibility of running into their ex. For couples without children, such decisions are their prerogative to make. Divorced or unmarried parents who share custody of their child or children, however, must make the commitment to cooperate with each other, not for their own sake, but for the sake of their children.
A shared custody arrangement means that both parents are expected to be active in decision-making and raising the child, regardless of the relationship between them. In most cases, the child will spend a considerable amount of time in the home of each parent allowing for separate, but significant parental interaction.
Parents who are able to cooperatively manage and implement scheduling and child-raising strategies offer their child the best opportunity to benefit from the stability they can provide. Successful cooperation between parents is referred to by many family and child experts as “coparenting.” A coparenting situation requires participation from both parents and the acknowledgment that, even though their marriage may be over, they continue to share the common goal of successfully raising their child.
National statistics show that the overall divorce rate has been declining over the past several years. That trend also appears to be carrying over to the military divorce rate, as well, according to new figures just released by the U.S. Defense Department.
According to those numbers, the overall divorce rate for members of the military last year was 3.1 percent. The Defense Department says that rate has not been that low since 2005, when the annual divorce rate among both enlisted members and officers was at 3 percent. Prior to the start of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in 2001, the divorce rate for military members was at 2.6 percent. As conflicts escalated, and more men and women were deployed, that rate began to rise, hitting its peak in 2011 at 3.7 percent.
The divorce rate for women in the military saw a greater decrease than it did for military men. In 2011, the divorce rate for female armed forces members hit 8 percent, falling to 6.5 percent in 2014. For males in the military, there was only a .3 percent decrease in the divorce rate from 2013 to 2014. Since 2011, that percentage has only decreased by .5 percent.