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Naperville divorce lawyerThe Baby Boomer generation has never been one to follow tradition and maintain the status quo. In past generations, it was often said that the longer your marriage lasted, the less likely you were to get a divorce. Today, things are quite different. A large number of older couples are choosing to divorce later in life, and the divorce rate of those 50 and older has doubled over just the past two decades. For those 60 and older, the divorce rate has tripled. This trend makes sense, however. Many older couples today find themselves with grown children out of the house and realize they are no longer happy in their marriage. It is never too late to take a step towards happiness. Gray divorces, however, do have their unique challenges, and baby boomers themselves are not the only group impacted. The millennial children of the baby boomer generation, most of them now adults, are also impacted by their parents decision to divorce. Changing family dynamics can be difficult for everyone involved, including adult children.

All Grown Up

Adult children often struggle to cope with their parent’s separation, despite the assumption that adults should be able to easily handle the split as they are no longer children tied directly to their parent’s decisions. In reality, specialists say that millennials today are feeling the impact of the increasing gray divorce rate in a number of ways. Firstly, adult children of divorce often feel they have no one to talk to about their parents separation. “There is this message you are getting that you should be doing fine,” says one therapist and divorce specialist. “You are all grown up and this is your parent’s decision. Adult children of divorce feel they do not have anyone to talk to about it.”

Additionally, many adult children of divorce say they are burdened with hearing too much information about their parent’s unhappy marriage. While adult are certainly more easily able to cope with a major life change like a divorce, gray divorcees should avoid over-sharing with their children. Instead, older divorcees should seek other confidants to vent and process emotions with.

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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.

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Posted on in Divorce

Naperville divorce lawyerA trend that has become more apparent with each passing year in the last decade is the rising divorce rate for couples over the age of 55. The overall divorce rate in the United States has continued to drop over the last several years, after years of decline, but the rate for seniors has steadily increased. It is important to be able to spot the signs in your own marriage, and if divorce happens, to be able to adjust to it with minimal pain.

Statistics and Trends

The U.S. Census’ American Community Survey reports that since 1990, the so-called “gray divorce” rate has almost tripled, going from one in 10 to approximately 28 percent of recent divorcees being over the age of 55. Given that the nationwide trend has been to stay married, it is worth noting the significant uptick in older couples separating. This is especially true considering that divorce has been linked to potential health issues, financial strain, and other problems that can pose significant risks for those over a certain age.

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