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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

Geneva divorce attorneyOver 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.

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.

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