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What Are the Most Common Concerns in a “Gray Divorce”?

Posted on in Divorce

Oak Park, IL family law attorney gray divorce

A “gray divorce” is a term used when referring to a couple that gets divorced later in life, typically when they are over the age of 50. Perhaps they were waiting until their children were grown and out of the house, or an extramarital affair caused the split. Regardless of the reasons for the marriage ending, these older spouses will have to make some important decisions regarding their divorce settlement in order to move forward into the next chapter of their lives. One of the major issues with a “gray divorce” is that there can be more assets, and larger assets, to divide, which can cause conflict between spouses. Certain high-value assets can be more problematic when trying to determine which of these assets are marital property and subject to division. Also, often there is the emotional aspect of becoming single again after perhaps decades of marriage to deal with. 

Important Issues to Consider

Every marriage is different, and therefore every divorce is likely to have its own unique issues. Even if spouses are amicable and mutually agree to legally end their marriage, they may find the legal process quite challenging. In many “gray divorce” cases, it can be difficult for one party to think about starting over, moving into a new house, and/or finding employment after years of raising children and not working outside of the home. Here are some of the main elements that typically need to be addressed in a “gray divorce”: 

  • Asset and property division - Determining who gets what in a divorce can cause feelings of anxiety and resentment. Older couples usually have more assets and personal possessions to divide than younger couples. In Illinois, if spouses cannot agree to the terms of property and asset division, then a judge will make those decisions. The court will weigh several factors, such as the length of the marriage, earning capacity of both spouses, age and health of both parties, if minor children are involved, and more. If one spouse is hiding or dissipating assets, a forensic accountant and an attorney can help uncover this deception;

  • Retirement accounts - One or both spouses may have contributed to retirement savings plan through their employment. If so, a “Qualified Domestic Relations Order” (QDRO) is a court order entered into an Illinois divorce case which divides up retirement plan or pension plan benefits between the two spouses;

  • Spousal support - In some divorces, one spouse may have earned significantly more than the other, in which case the lesser-earning spouse might be awarded spousal support or maintenance payments. This type of financial help typically lasts until the spouse gains employment and becomes self-sufficient; and 

  • Physical and emotional health - Your well-being is one of the most important factors to consider when going through a divorce. Getting out of a toxic relationship may be the first step in building a healthier lifestyle, but there are also additional steps one can take to ensure they have a happy future. Eating well, sleeping enough, exercising and spending time with family and friends have all been shown to foster a positive attitude and boost self-esteem.   

Contact an Oak Park Divorce Attorney

Going through a divorce at any age can be traumatic, but when you are over age 50, it can be especially daunting. For example, concerns about how to divide retirement plans and assets may cause much frustration and disputes. At the highly-rated Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C., we have over 33 years of proven success in resolving complex family law matters, including “gray divorcees,” for hundreds of clients in the Chicagoland area, and our highly-skilled Hillside, IL divorce lawyer fights for the best possible outcomes for his clients. Learn more by calling us today at 708-449-7404 to schedule a no-charge consultation.  

 

Source: 

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

 

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