The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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Divorce Later in Life: Special Considerations and Planning Tips

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IL divorce lawyerFor those over 50, starting over after a long marriage can feel daunting. However, later-life divorce has become increasingly common. The divorce rate for U.S. adults ages 50 and older has increased considerably since the 1990s.

If you are contemplating divorce at this stage, consider how it will impact finances, health care arrangements, retirement plans, and more. With proper planning and professional guidance, you can minimize disruptions and safely transition to your new single life.

Review Your Finances Thoroughly

A top priority is re-evaluating your overall financial situation if divorcing later in life. This includes:

  • Updating beneficiary designations on retirement accounts, life insurance policies, and bank accounts previously naming your former spouse.
  • Understanding any impacts on Social Security benefits if you may qualify for benefits through your ex-spouse’s record.
  • Dividing marital assets equitably. This includes your home, vehicles, savings accounts, stock portfolios, and valuables.
  • Factoring in the effect of losing access to your spouse’s pension, 401(k), or other retirement income. You may need to ramp up individual retirement savings.
  • Working with a financial advisor to adjust investment strategies post-divorce. Your risk tolerance and income needs likely change.
  • Modifying estate planning documents like your will, trusts, and advance directives to reflect your divorced status.

Evaluate Health Insurance Options

Another key consideration is health insurance coverage. If covered under your spouse’s health plan, consider Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation (COBRA) coverage or shop for an individual plan. Make sure to budget significantly higher Medicare premiums when enrolling later without a spouse’s income factored in.

Consider Long-Term Care Protection

Also assess options to cover potential long-term care needs, which become more common in later life. Long-term care insurance may be advisable depending on your assets and health status. Doing this research upfront can give you peace of mind.

Discuss Housing Options

Selling your marital home or choosing to stay can have major financial and emotional implications. Consult with professionals to run the numbers on downsizing to a smaller living space versus relying on rental income from extra rooms if keeping your home.

For some, moving into an independent or assisted living community with amenities and social activities is appealing at this life stage. Think through your future housing goals.

Seek Support If Needed

Don’t overlook the potential need for spousal maintenance or alimony, especially if you gave up your career to raise a family. Be proactive in discussions with your divorce lawyer about seeking adequate support payments.

Embrace Your Next Chapter

Without the obligations of family life, you can finally pursue neglected interests and passions. Use your newfound freedom to reconnect with friends, travel, go back to school, change careers, volunteer, or simply relax and enjoy this stage of life. With the right planning, your golden years can still be the best.

Contact a Yorkville Family Law Attorney

In any marriage dissolution, there are a myriad of issues that need to be addressed. An Illinois divorce lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and protect your interests. Call The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. at 630-409-8184 today.



The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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