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Alimony and Retirement: Considerations for a Gray Divorce

 Posted on September 26, 2022 in Divorce

St. Charles Grey Divorce LawyerThe term "gray divorce" refers to a divorce in which spouses are over age fifty. In the last few decades, gray divorce rates have skyrocketed. More and more people are deciding to leave unhappy marriages later in life.

Finances are a central concern in most gray divorce cases. Spouses want to know that they will have the financial resources needed to live independently. The question of money becomes an even more immediate concern if spouses are retired or close to retirement. 

Spousal maintenance, called alimony in other states, may be awarded to a lesser-earning spouse in a gray divorce. Whether you are the payer or recipient of spousal maintenance, it is crucial that you understand your obligations and rights. You should also be aware of how spousal maintenance can affect your retirement plans. 

Alimony in Illinois Divorce Cases

Spousal maintenance, spousal support, and alimony are all terms that refer to payments one spouse makes to another spouse during or after divorce. In Illinois, spouses may be entitled to financial support through a temporary spousal maintenance order during the divorce process. They may also be entitled to ongoing payments after the divorce concludes. 

Absent an agreement between the spouses dictating spousal maintenance terms, Illinois courts make maintenance determinations based on each party's income, property, and earning capacity, the duration of the marriage, and several other factors. The amount of money a spouse can receive in alimony payments is chiefly based on the parties' respective incomes. 

Spousal Maintenance Payments and Retirement

People in their 50s and 60s often worry about what happens to spousal maintenance obligations if either or both spouses retire. Spousal maintenance obligations are based primarily on income. Consequently, if a paying spouse's income does not change significantly upon retirement, he or she may be held to the same spousal maintenance obligation he or she paid before retirement. If a retired spouse experiences a major change in financial circumstances upon retirement, the court may modify or terminate the spousal maintenance order. 

Spousal maintenance ends if the recipient gets remarried. The paying spouse may petition the court to terminate his or her maintenance obligation if the recipient cohabitates with a romantic partner. Lastly, spousal maintenance obligations end if either spouse passes away. 

Contact our Wheaton Divorce Over 50 Lawyers

Spousal maintenance or alimony orders may stay the same or change upon retirement depending on the provisions contained in the original order, the parties' financial circumstances, and other factors.  If you are getting divorced or need to modify your spousal maintenance order, turn to the experienced DuPage County divorce attorneys at Divorce Over 50 - Goostree Law Group. We can advocate on your behalf in court and help you navigate the divorce process from beginning to end. Call 630-634-5050 for a free consultation.




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