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Posted on in Divorce

Kane County divorce attorneysAlthough the general population usually thinks of retirement as something that married couples will enjoy together, research shows that many retirement-age couples are splitting up. Nicknamed “gray divorce,” divorce over age 50 has doubled in frequency since the 1990s. Older couples split up for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the stresses of finances and taking care of the house get the better of a couple, other times, infidelity ends the marriage, and sometimes, a couple simply does not wish to be married anymore.

Gray divorces like these are particularly complicated. When a couple in their 20s gets divorced, they are usually not as financially established as an older couple would be. Couples in their 50s and 60s often own their home and vehicles and have more valuable assets. One of the biggest concerns for older individuals who divorce is how divorce will affect their retirement. If you are considering divorce, you should be aware of how divorce will affect your retirement and how to plan for these unexpected disturbances.

Dividing Retirement Accounts

older divorce, division of property, Illinois family lawyer“Things just aren’t they way they used to be.” Nearly everyone has something similar from a grandparent or older relative. In many families, such maxims are often used in response to a younger generation’s morals, work ethic, or approach to a particular situation. When it comes to divorce, however, today’s young people may be justified in saying the same thing to older generations, as the divorce rate for those over 50 is at its highest point ever. Social trends notwithstanding, older divorce can present considerable issues for the parties involved, in many ways making such a divorce more complicated than that of a younger couple.

Age, Health, and Life Expectancy

Divorce happens at any age for many similar reasons. A couple may grow apart, succumb to financial pressures, or look for increased independence. Regardless of the reasons, older divorce often leaves both partners with less ability to recover from a poorly planned divorce, as income potential and expected earnings may be significantly decreased by the parties’ age or health. Consulting with legal and financial professionals is especially critical in an older divorce as the potential cost of a mistake in the process can be financially devastating.

Posted on in Divorce

divorce, older, divorce rateThanks to technological advances in modern medicine and healthier lifestyles, Americans continue to live longer lives. Most recent government numbers show the life expectancy in the U.S. has reached a record high 78.8 years, albeit slightly higher for women and slightly lower for men. Adults in this country have more years than ever to pursue interests, enjoy their passions, maintain friendships, and fall in love. Sometimes, however, adults lose certain interests, passions wane, and friendships drift apart. Falling out of love, so to speak, can happen as well and when it does, older Americans find themselves facing divorce at an unprecedented rate.

Divorce for individuals over age 50 is often referred to as “gray divorce,” and as a recent study out of Bowling Green University suggests, gray divorce has almost tripled in the last quarter century. In a 2011 survey of adults who divorced in the previous year, nearly 30 percent were 50 or older. By contrast, in 1990, only one in ten was 50 or older when they divorced.

The lead researchers of the Bowling Green study, expressed concern that older Americans divorcing at higher rate may have an impact on more than just the couple. The financial toll of divorce or related health issues can have implications for some couple’s children. Others may be forced to turn to government programs, community outreach centers, or other avenues of aid after divorce.

Geneva family law attorney, gray divorce, seniors divorcing, senior divorce, paper divorce, older people divorce, older divorce trendsMuch has been written about the increase in gray divorce—divorce between spouses who are 50 years old or older. In fact, according to a study conducted by researchers at Bowling Green State University, the rate of gray divorce has doubled in the past twenty years. In 1990, only one in 10 divorces involved spouses who were over 50. In 2009, that number jumped to one in four divorces. There were over 600,000 gray divorces in 2009 and the Bowling Green study projected that number will be over 800,000 gray divorces in 2030.

There are many reasons why older people divorce. However, there is one surprising reason that appears to be emerging more frequently. It has nothing to do with infidelity, incompatibility or irreconcilable differences. Instead, many older couples are divorcing because of the high cost of medical care and long-term care costs.

As couples age, it is not uncommon for one spouse to become ill and require long-term care in a nursing home or other healthcare facility. However, Medicare only covers a portion of that care. Under current Medicare rules, if one spouse becomes ill, Medicare will only cover the first 100 days of nursing care. After that, a couple is left with only one of two options. If they are fortunate enough to be able to afford long-term health insurance, that insurance would then take over payments.

divorce rate, baby boomer, marriage, divorce, generation, millennials , Geneva divorce lawyerA new study by the Minnesota Population Center reveals that for the past 30 years, marriage experts have been reading the wrong data when it comes to determining the increases and decreases of this country’s divorce rate. And this new information shows that the divorce rate is even higher than previously thought – especially among baby boomers.

Divorce numbers began rising in the 1970’s as many baby boomers got married and divorced. They’ve kept up that pattern over the past three decades. According to the lead researchers, Steve Ruggles and Sheela Kennedy, the increase has spiked dramatically. In an interview, Ruggles said, “There has been a threefold increase in the divorce rate of people aged between 60 and 65 since 1990. And for those older than 65, the increase is fivefold.”

Ruggles points out that second and third marriages are often more “unstable” than first marriages and cites this as one of the reasons for the increase in numbers.

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