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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

DuPage County | 630-852-9700

Mokena | 815-727-6144   Oak Park | 708-848-3159

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What Do I Need to Know When Getting a Divorce Over the Age of 50?

Posted on in Divorce

Hinsdale divorce over 50 attorney

Many groups in the United States have experienced a drop in divorce rates; however, the opposite is true for older Americans. According to the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people divorcing after the age of 50 (known as gray divorce) has just about doubled since 1990. Gray divorce has become increasingly more common for a few different reasons. For example, divorce has lost much of the stigma it carried years ago, and people are living longer and not willing to stay in unfulfilling marriages.

Gray divorces often include a variety of unique financial considerations and legal issues that may not have the same importance for other divorcing couples. Some people may worry that they will not have enough money to retire when they originally planned to. Other people may be concerned with what happens to the assets that they have accumulated throughout their years of marriage. Understanding these issues and how to deal with them is the key to a successful gray divorce.

Spousal Maintenance

In Illinois, spousal maintenance is never guaranteed in any divorce. The purpose of spousal maintenance is to ensure that both spouses are able to provide for themselves and enjoy the same or similar lifestyle that they enjoyed during the marriage. For long-term marriages, it is likely that the judge will award spousal maintenance, especially if one of the spouses sacrificed their education or career to devote time to domestic duties. For a marriage lasting 20 or more years, the length of time spousal maintenance will be paid can be equal to the length of the marriage or for an indefinite term.

Property Division

Determining who will keep which property can be a big issue for many divorcing couples, but those who have been together for a long time may have a more difficult time dividing their marital assets. Older couples may also have marital assets that younger couples do not have, such as investment accounts, multiple cars or boats, or even multiple real estate properties. Retirement assets are a part of the property division process, but they can pose even more difficulty.

Retirement Assets

Illinois law states that pension benefits, individual retirement accounts, and non-qualified plans that were acquired by or participated in by either spouse during the marriage are considered to be marital property. This means these assets must be split between spouses during divorce. The most common and beneficial way of doing this is by using a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). A QDRO is a legal document that defines the right of another individual to receive all or a portion of the funds in certain types of retirement accounts. It allows for the transfer of these funds without incurring penalties or taxes for early withdrawal.

A DuPage County Gray Divorce Attorney Can Ease Your Worries

Unless you were married later in life, getting a divorce when you are over the age of 50 means you are probably ending a marriage that lasted for decades. While this is never emotionally easy, it is often not easy on the financial side of things either. At Wakenight & Associates, P.C., we can help you make sure you are getting everything you deserve out of your divorce. Our knowledgeable Elmhurst, IL divorce lawyers have more than 95 years of combined experience handling family law cases, and we understand the best ways to deal with the unique issues involved in a gray divorce. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-852-9700.

Sources:

https://www.thebalance.com/divorce-after-50-5-things-to-consider-2388813

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nealegodfrey/2016/04/25/gray-divorce-til-death-do-us-part/#6e61c9d03097

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075000050HPt%2E+V&ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=6100000&SeqEnd=8350000

 

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