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Getting a Divorce After Age 50? Consider These Complicating Factors

Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County divorce attorneysWhile divorce at any age can be a complex endeavor, older couples getting divorced often face additional complications that younger couples may avoid. The longer a couple is together, the more interwoven their lives become – both personally and financially. Older individuals often own more complex assets like family business, life insurance policies, retirement plans, pensions, stock options, brokerage accounts, and deferred compensation which can significantly complicate divorce. Furthermore, spousal maintenance is often ordered when a long marriage ends. If you are over age 50 and are planning to divorce, keep the following information in mind.

Divorce Rate for Older Couples Has Risen Significantly

More and more older couples are getting divorced than ever before. This is especially true for the post-retirement age group. In fact, the divorce rate for people aged 65+ has more than doubled since 1990. This trend, nicknamed “gray divorce,” may be occurring for several reasons. Firstly, the stigma surrounding divorce which existed for decades has nearly disappeared. Divorce is not seen as something to be ashamed of in today's world. Secondly, many older adults are gaining the confidence to choose the path in life which makes them the happiest. For some, this means ending a marriage.

The Length of a Marriage Can Influence Property and Support Decisions

Gray divorce can come with substantial hurdles. Couples that have been married a long time will have naturally accumulated a significant collection of assets and property. Divorcing couples are encouraged by Illinois courts to distribute their marital property among themselves, but this is not always possible. If a couple cannot agree on property division issues, the court will intervene. In Illinois, division of marital assets and liabilities falls under the concept of equitable distribution. This means that the property and debt division will be equitable or fair, but not necessarily 50/50.

Spousal Maintenance Is Often Ordered When One Spouse Was a Homemaker

Spousal maintenance or spousal support is a special type of financial assistance which is sometimes awarded to spouses in a divorce. If one spouse gave up a career to stay home and care for children, he or she is likely to be a significant disadvantage after divorce. Reentering the workforce after many years as a homemaker or stay-at-home-parent is no simple task. In this example, the more financially-secure spouse may be required to help support the other spouse while he or she finds employment. For older couples and those who have been married for a long time, this spousal support may be required to last longer.

Contact an Oak Brook Family Law Attorney

To speak with an experienced Naperville divorce lawyer, call the Pesce Law Group at 603-352-2240 today. We offer free consultations so that you can get the help you need, no matter what challenges you may be facing.



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