Divorce After Age 50 Brings Unique Considerations
Over the last few decades, there has been a noticeable increase in older married couples getting divorced. In fact, the rate of these “grey divorces” doubled between 1990 and 2010. If you are over the age of 50 and are considering getting a divorce, you may face some unique challenges. As you weigh your options, there are a few things to keep in mind.
You May Be Ordered to Pay Spousal Support
When an older couple gets divorced, they are often more established financially than a younger couple would be. Therefore, there are some rather unique financial situations that may arise. Firstly, those couples that have been married for several decades should expect one of them to be ordered to pay spousal maintenance, also called spousal support or alimony. Often, spouses have considerably different incomes or one spouse stayed home to raise children while the other worked. In these circumstances, the higher-earning spouse is often ordered to pay spousal support to the lower-earning spouse. The duration that payments will occur and the amount of each payment will depend on the recipient’s health, ability to find employment, job skills, and other factors.
Asset Distribution Can Be Complex in Grey Divorce
Funding retirement can become more difficult for both spouses when an older couple calls it quits on their marriage. Any funds that the couple has in 401(k) plans, individual retirement accounts, 457 or 403(b) accounts and pensions will usually be divided between the spouses. At the very least, such investments must be considered during the property division process. Illinois is an “equitable distribution” state, which means that marital property might not be divided evenly. Equitable distribution holds that the marital estate must be divided in a manner that is reasonable and fair, based on the circumstances of the marriage and divorce.
Another concern for divorcees over the age of 50 is health insurance. Once the divorce is final, a person cannot stay on their ex-spouse's health insurance plan. Couples who divorce before qualifying for Medicare should consider the costs of health insurance when making financial plans and decisions. Depending on the duration of the marriage and each spouse's income, one spouse may also be entitled to his or her spouse's Social Security benefits, even after the divorce.
If you are over the age of 50 and considering divorce, you need an attorney who is experienced and capable of handling a challenging case. A knowledgeable Kane County family law attorney can help guide you through the divorce and fight for your rights. Call The Law Offices of Douglas B. Warlick & Associates at 630-232-9700 for a confidential consultation today.