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How to Meet the Unique Financial Challenges Involved in a “Gray Divorce”

Posted on in Divorce

Plainfield Divorce AttorneyDivorce involving older couples differs from traditional divorce in many ways. The legal, financial, personal, and familial issues divorcing spouses face are often unique to their stage in life. If you are thinking about ending your marriage and you are over the age of 50, you may be feeling overwhelmed and uncertain. These types of feelings are normal. After all, divorce is a huge decision. Learning about the challenges you may face during a “gray divorce” can help you prepare to tackle those challenges and create a brighter post-divorce future.

Getting Divorced When You are Retired or Close to Retirement

Divorce rates have skyrocketed among older couples in recent decades. Many spouses are simply unwilling to stay in an unfulfilling marriage during their golden years. Unfortunately, getting divorced near retirement age can present unique financial obstacles. In Illinois, courts divide marital property equitably. Retirement accounts, including pensions, 401(k)s, and IRAs are often classified as either fully or partially marital property. Both spouses are entitled to an equitable share of retirement funds that either spouse earned during the marriage.

Divorcing spouses may be able to negotiate an out-of-court property division agreement. Some spouses choose to split retirement funds while others assign the retirement account to one spouse and compensate the other spouse for his or her portion with other marital assets, such as the marital home. A divorce lawyer experienced in gray divorce issues can help you determine what option makes the most sense for you. If you were married for at least ten years, you may also be entitled to Social Security benefits through your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

Financial Concerns for Homemakers, Stay-at-Home Parents, and Disabled Spouses

In many marriages, one spouse is the breadwinner while the other tends to domestic issues. Many spouses are also unable to work due to disabilities or health concerns. This can make it nearly impossible for a newly divorced spouse to support themselves financially.  In Illinois, divorcing spouses may be entitled to temporary, or in some cases, permanent spousal maintenance. Alimony, spousal maintenance, and spousal support are all terms used to describe financial support that a higher-earning spouse pays to a lower earning spouse during or after divorce. Illinois law allows spouses to seek temporary relief orders for spousal support while the divorce proceedings are ongoing. Spouses may also be entitled to spousal maintenance after the divorce.

Contact a Naperville Divorce Lawyer

If you are over 50 years old and you want to get divorced, the skilled Naperville divorce lawyers at Law Office of Ronald L. Hendrix, P.C. can provide the legal guidance you need during this challenging time. Call our office at 630-355-7776 for a free case assessment today.



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