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Couples who have been married for many years face new challenges in life 

as they move through their senior years. People in their sixties and even 
seventies and eighties can be wrestling with how to make their lives more 
comfortable and what to do about their marriages.
Sometimes a person who has stayed in a bad marriage for many years 
decides he or she doesn’t want to spend their remaining years that way. 
Sometimes good marriages change or a difficult marriage gets more difficult 
as age and health bring personality changes that are hard to handle 24 hours 
a day or that give rise to safety concerns. Sometimes the problems are 
exacerbated by alcohol abuse, depression, or other physical or mental health
problems including Alzheimers, dementia, or other illnesses that can affect 
mental acuity or personality.
Older or disabled persons may have special income issues involving health 
insurance, social security, or retirement benefits. Spousal support can be an 
issue. Guardianship may be appropriate in some cases. Adult children from 
this marriage or from a prior marriage may complicate matters or may be an 
excellent resource. Wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and advanced medical 
directives are important parts of the equation. Instead of just worrying about
these things, consult with an experienced family law attorney to help you.
Talking these problems over with an experienced family lawyer can help. It 
is important to consider financial issues, safety issues, emotional issues, and 
practical matters that are unique to your own situation. Sometimes it is better 
to stay together despite the problems, but to make certain changes that manage 
the problems better. Sometimes it is best to live apart, but stay legally married. 
Sometimes divorce is necessary and appropriate. Each person’s situation is 
unique, and you may need help to sort out your options.


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