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

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

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Oswego gray divorce attorney

When talking about divorce, most people are familiar with the commonly cited fact that around half of all U.S. marriages ultimately fail. According to the Pew Research Center, the general divorce rate in the United States has actually been decreasing since 1990. When you look at adults who are over the age of 50, however, the divorce rate has actually increased. Ten out of every 1,000 couples over the age of 50 got divorced in 2015, which doubled from 1990. Among those who were age 65 and older, the divorce rate actually tripled between 1990 and 2015. Getting divorced when you are over the age of 50, which is also referred to as gray divorce, can be a complicated process, and that is why hiring a knowledgeable attorney is so important.

Attitudes About Divorce Are Changing

Even just 30 years ago in 1990, there was more of a negative stigma surrounding divorce than what exists in today’s world. If you got divorced back then or even longer ago, it was scandalous and wrong. Now, getting a divorce is seen by many as the right thing to do if you find yourself in a loveless or unsatisfying marriage. Gray divorces could be more prevalent because of this shift in public attitude.

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Yorkville gray divorce attorneyDivorce rates are often changing and vary depending on the source of your information. Although the general divorce rate is anywhere between 40 and 50 percent, one statistic that can be agreed upon is that the divorce rate for Americans over the age of 50 has doubled since the 1990s. Gray divorce, or divorce that takes place when someone is 50 or older, can be devastating for many people, particularly because gray divorces often end marriages that can be decades long. Spouses in these cases have special considerations that should not be forgotten when going through the divorce process, especially related to financial matters. If you are going through a divorce later in life, here are a few mistakes to avoid:

Not Understanding Your Finances

In any marriage, it is not uncommon for one spouse to have a better understanding of the couple’s finances than the other. While this type of arrangement might work during a marriage, it will certainly not work in a divorce. If you are the partner whose knowledge of the family’s finances is unclear, you need to get a better picture of what your finances actually look like. Review all of your bank accounts, investment portfolio, and any debts that you owe before you begin dividing your property.

Clinging to the Family Home

There are many reasons why a spouse would want to keep the marital home after a divorce. For some couples, the thought of moving their children out of the family residence is unfavorable. For older couples, the sentiments attached to the home may cause them to hold on when their finances say they should let go. First, get an accurate appraisal of the home’s worth. Then, figure out if you can afford to keep the home on your own.

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DuPage County gray divorce attorneyDivorce statistics are often misconstrued, and it can be difficult to determine what the true divorce rate is in the United States. One of the figures that most statisticians can settle on, however, is that the general divorce rate is declining, while the rate of divorce for those who are over the age of 50 is rising--and has been for the past couple of decades. A “gray divorce” is a term that is used when two people who are over the age of 50 decide to divorce. At that point in their lives, they have typically been married for decades, and they may have many more issues that need to be addressed, especially when it comes to finances. If you are thinking about getting a divorce, and you are over the age of 50, you should be aware of some of the differences that you may face compared to your younger counterparts.

Stakes Are Higher During Asset Division

When going through the process of dividing your marital assets, earning potential is something that becomes important. For couples who are in their 20s, 30s, or 40s, they still have plenty of earning potential. Couples who are divorcing in their 50s or later are close to retirement, if they have not already retired, meaning their income will be fixed, and their assets will not grow anymore. This makes the stakes higher when it comes to figuring out who gets what in the divorce.

Retirement Funds Become Extremely Important

Another thing that becomes a priority is figuring out how your retirement funds are distributed when you divorce after 50. If you are not yet retired, you will be soon, and you will need as much money as possible to live comfortably during retirement. If you are already retired, you will have to figure out how much of each spouse's retirement funds are left and how much you and your spouse are eligible to receive. You also have to keep in mind any tax considerations when making withdrawals from retirement accounts.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer,A “gray divorce” is a fairly new term that people have been using when referring to those who get divorced in late adulthood. A divorce is considered a gray divorce when the couple who is getting divorced is over the age of 50. According to the Pew Research Center, the divorce rate for Americans over the age of 50 has doubled since 1990 and for Americans over the age of 65, the divorce rate has tripled. Older Americans have seen an increase in divorce rates while younger Americans between the ages of 25 and 39 have actually seen a decrease in the divorce rate, by about 20 percent. Typically, couples getting a gray divorce have been married for decades, which is why they face a lot of negative stigmas and backlash from those surrounding them. They also face unique circumstances when it comes to divorce, which is why specific considerations should be made. You Will Probably Be Entitled to Spousal Support

It is extremely common for long-term marriages to involve some sort of spousal support. In Illinois, specific factors are used to determine whether or not spousal support is necessary in a divorce. These factors can include:

  • The income and property of each spouse;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage;
  • The present and future earning capacity of each spouse;
  • The duration of the marriage; and
  • The age, health, occupation, vocational skills and employability of each spouse.

A marriage that lasted less than 20 years will involve some sort of temporary maintenance based on those factors. If the marriage lasted longer than 20 years, the length of maintenance payments can be equal to the length of the marriage, or indefinitely. You Will Need to Seriously Think About Your Retirement Plans One of the major factors that need consideration when getting a divorce after the age of 50 is your retirement plans. Typically, when you are married, you make financial plans to retire using your income, which can be from one or both spouses. When you get divorced, your retirement funds are typically (but not always) split in half, which means you could be set back in your retirement goals. Do Not Forget About Your Children In a gray divorce, children are typically adults or teenagers. It is important to remember that it does not matter what age your children are - news of a divorce can be devastating to anyone. You should remember that even if your children are adults, they still need your love and support, especially during your divorce. Try to keep them as informed as possible as this can help everyone. A Compassionate DuPage County Divorce Attorney Can Help Divorce is never easy, no matter your age, but it can be especially difficult when you have been married for decades. Every aspect of your life changes when you get a divorce, which is why it is important to have a knowledgeable and hard-working Aurora, IL divorce lawyer at your side. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, PC, we understand how hard a divorce can be and will work to help you every step of the way. Contact our office today at 630-409-8184 to set up a consultation.

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gray-divorceMost people probably think a divorce occurs after a couple of years of marriage, or while the spouses are still relatively young. While that may have been true during the 1970s and 1980s, a new phenomenon has developed as more and more adults over the age of 50 are now taking steps to end their marriages later in life.

Why Is “Gray Divorce” Happening Now?

The idea of grandpa and grandma going through divorce is now more common than ever. While that is an image many find difficult to comprehend, the fact remains that more and more seniors are divorcing now than ever before.

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Posted on in Divorce

abuse, DuPage County divorce lawyerOver the last several decades, the phenomenon of gray divorce or the divorce of couples consisting of partners aged 50 and over has been on the rise. More than two-thirds of these types of divorces are initiated by the wife, and in at least one survey, over half of the women who responded said that they initiated the divorce due to spousal abuse. In most cases, the divorce was the result of emotional abuse.

In an emotionally abusive marriage, one spouse manipulates the other using methods such as criticism, intimidation, or bullying. The victim can do “nothing right,” and the cycle of abuse continues. This type of abuse is often present at the beginning of the relationship, but is usually concealed as love, concern, or even humor. It often takes years—sometimes many years—for victims to realize they are being abused, if they realize it at all.

Warning Signs of an Abusive Marriage

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Posted on in Gray Divorce

gray divorce, older divorce, DuPage County family law attorneyWhile the divorce rate seems to be leveling out for most age groups, there is one in particular in which divorce is more common than ever. Depending upon your perspective, it may come as a surprise to learn that the divorce rate among people age 50 and older today is twice what it was a quarter-century ago. For the 65 and older age group, the rate of divorce has more than doubled. During the same period, the divorce rate for virtually every other age group has remained the same or has fallen. So what is causing the increase in older divorce, or, as some call it, gray divorce? While the explanation is probably not to be found in just a single factor, there are a number of things that may be playing a role.

Not the First Time

One of the contributing factors to increase in gray divorce is the idea that second marriages among all age groups fail at a much higher rate than first marriages, and third or subsequent marriages even more so. Just based on pure probability, and with remarriage rates at record-highs, more and more older Americans are in the midst of a second or third marriages, making them at least two and a half times more likely to experience a divorce.

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gray divorceMarital dissolution can be daunting for anyone, but if you have been married for several decades, the idea can be even more terrifying. Not only are there emotional issues to resolve that come with the idea of splitting with a spouse who has inevitably become an extension of oneself, there are also more practical issues such as finances, living arrangements, and issues of long-term care during the aging process. According to the Huffington Post, while addressing these issues is crucial for finding peace of mind after divorce that follows a multi-decade marriage, divorce may still be the best option. If you are not happy in your marriage, the best bet is to separate, regardless of how old you are or how long you have been married.

The first major issue to resolve in a long-term marriage divorce is that of finances. When you begin divorce talks, not only will you need to discuss the issues of property division, but also those surrounding pensions, Social Security, and insurance coverage. If you will be required to pay spousal maintenance, this is also an important issue to consider, especially if you are nearing retirement age. Seeking the counsel of a legal professional who has experience with later-in-life divorce is crucial, as finances are likely more limited nearing retirement age than they were in years past.

While in most cases of marital dissolution selling the marital home is a good idea, it could leave both parties worse for ware in a long-term marriage divorce. If selling the home does not make financial sense, determining which spouse will remain in the house can be difficult for both parties. In some cases, especially those in which you have several years left on the mortgage, it could make more sense to hold on to the house.

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Posted on in Chicago divorce attorney

gray divorce, baby boomers, lawyer, attorney, marriage, Illinois, divorceHas divorce become another rite of passage for older Americans in the baby boomer generation? New research suggests that Americans over the age of 50 are twice as likely to get divorced as people of that age were two decades ago.

Older individuals might have their own unique challenges in the divorce process: ending a marriage after many years of routines and grown children can be difficult. Family get-togethers with grandchildren might feel uncomfortable or a spouse might have to adjust to managing household finances that they have never done before. For some older people, being lonely is a common feeling reported by gray divorcees.

One of the most common challenges for those considering divorce in the baby boomer generation is the concept of drifting apart. After several decades together, couples might be headed in different directions. As older children leave the house to pursue education or careers, this gap might be more pronounced, leading couples to go their separate ways.

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

630-409-8184

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

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