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The American dream is, more or less, that you live a long and happy life that includes getting married to your true love, having 1.8 children, a good job and rewarding career, and enjoying the affections of your spouse and offspring into peaceful, comfortable old age.

As we all know, dreams and realities are two different things. More and more Americans are finding that as they near retirement age, their marriages are ending in divorce. For some going through a so-called gray divorce, financial concerns are more pronounced than they might have been at a younger age.

According to a university study, between 1990 and 2010 the divorce rate doubled among Americans ages 50 and above. Rather than planning golf outings, shopping trips and afternoons in a hammock, many seniors find themselves sitting down with a family law attorney to work out property division settlements, spousal support terms and other divorce disputes.

Among the reasons for the rise in gray divorce: longer lifespans. People at 50 are looking ahead to decades of life in an unhappy marriage and deciding that they have much living to do yet.

Experts say that if you face the possibility of divorce later in life, and you have accumulated substantial assets, you should assemble a divorce team that includes an attorney who specializes in family law, as well as a financial advisor and a therapist.

One financial planner said that the mistakes a person makes in the legal process of divorce can be "far more expensive" than getting good help.

A King County divorce lawyer can speak with you about your assets, your goals and your legal options in a high net worth divorce.