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The health consequences of a divorce on older people

Experts say that divorce may be on the rise for people who are 50 and older because women are no longer as dependent on men financially, people's expectations for marriage have changed and people are living longer. However, older adults in Arizona who divorce might also be putting themselves at risk for various health problems along with financial problems and social isolation.

The stress of divorce can make some medical conditions worse, particularly those that are more common among older adults such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Older people may be at risk for depression and anxiety, and they might try to cope with unhealthy behaviors such as overeating, overspending or misusing alcohol. Since women often are in charge of maintaining social ties in a relationship, men are at greater risk of isolation after a divorce while women are at greater risk of financial hardship.

Researchers say that some older people who divorce go on to blossom with new interests and relationships. Divorce may be beneficial for people whose marriages are toxic. However, older people who divorce should be prepared for the challenges and take steps to prevent some of the negative consequences. This includes exercising regularly, making an effort to reach out socially, and seeing a doctor and a therapist if necessary.

Most assets either person has acquired since the marriage are considered to be marital property that must be split equally. Couples do not necessarily have to agree to split everything 50/50 as long as each person takes roughly equal amounts. However, both people should fully understand the value of all assets and that the value of some may be decreased after taxes or other expenses are taken into consideration.

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