Divorce After 50 by Attorney Janice Green

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

While browsing through the new book section of my local library, I came across this title and took it off the shelf. Just browsing through it made me think: “Where was this book when I was going through my divorce?”

Attorney Janice Green has done a terrific job of gathering all the essential information for divorce in this book released in 2010 by Nolo:  Divorce After 50: Your Guide to the Unique Legal & Financial Challenges. The Introduction, entitled “Your Late-Life Divorce Companion” starts with this appropriate statement:

“Divorce at any age is a time of upheaval. But after age 50, divorce has a different feel, a different context, and a collection of issues not encountered by younger spouses.”  That little nugget of information sets the tone for this excellent guide on mid-life divorce.  As the author notes, the first chapter and last chapter serve as bookends for the chapters in between, which are more technical. Let me elaborate.

Chapter One, the first bookend, is entitled  “How Did I Get Here? The Rhyme and Reason of Late-Life Divorce.: In this chapter are many of the stories by real people who came to Green for help with divorce. I identified with many of their thoughts. It also deals with some of the basic issues of divorce you have or will encounter, such as Lacking Common Purpose and Social & Cultural Forces. The last chapter, the other bookend, is entitled “Survival Stories,” and as I read them,I realized that many of the elements of the survival stories resonated with me, not that I have been divorced a long time.

However, if you are now contemplating divorce or are in the middle of one, the chapters in between these bookends will probably be the most helpful. The chapters include such topics as Your Divorce Options (ex. mediation & collaborative divorce), Marital Property, Assets, Debts, Taxes, Health Care and Financial Survival. There are also helpful Appendices on making an inventory of your assets, liabilities, and living expenses as well as contact information.

As one woman “survivor” noted, as her marriage unraveled and her world started spinning , friends and family noted that she was out of control. And this is what she wrote:

“It is absolutely true, and I am loving every single minutes of my out-of-control free fall. I fell like I am finally on a  zip line experiencing life in the way I did so every long ago…without a plan, by the seat of my pants, impetuously, impulsively, with a wide-open mind and no destination…just a journey…the journey. MY JOURNEY!” (p.303)

This book will take you through the maze of divorce from a legal standpoint and also from an emotional standpoint, because the stories of pain and passion surrounding divorce are from real people who have survived.  Get this book! The cost is $29.99 and well worth the money. Contact www.nolo.com for purchasing information if you cannot find it in your bookstore.

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