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Putting the American dream back together

One part of the American dream is clear: everyone should have the same rights, freedoms and opportunities to succeed. Another part of that dream is that after working hard and succeeding, Americans can retire comfortably and enjoy the fruits of their labors.

But some retired couples are finding that the dream can bend and break when they spend too much time in each other's company. Boredom sets in, disputes become more frequent and divorce becomes a reality. For older couples, divorce is often more complex, involving division of assets such as retirement accounts, a 401(k), pensions, properties and more.

According to Forbes, one way some couples are avoiding so-called gray divorce: extending their careers or finding new jobs that keep them busy and out of the spouse's way.

The publication points out that the divorce rate for people over 50 has doubled since 1990, while the rate has declined for all other age groups.

Some couples find that interest in activities outside the home -- a new or rekindled career, for instance -- can make home fires burn a little brighter. One couple cited by Forbes decided to go all in on volunteer work; a way of staying active, engaged with the world and doing something meaningful, all at the same time.

For many people, getting out of the house at least a few hours a day or a few days per week gives them needed structure and encourages them to stay fit and maintain their physical appearance: all important factors in sustaining relationships.

For others, retirement brings long-buried differences to the surface. They decide to leave the marriage so that they can enjoy the rest of their lives.

For them, an important step in the process is talking with a family law attorney experienced in complex property division matters; a divorce lawyer who can protect their rights and interests. 

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