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Wheaton spousal support attorneyAlimony, or spousal maintenance, is thought of as a tool to help newly divorced people adapt from a two-income household to a one-income household. Maintenance is often of special importance for those who get divorced later in life. In many cases, maintenance payments eventually cease, usually after a financial goal or time limit is reached. However, in Illinois and a handful of other states, it can end earlier depending on each spouse’s circumstances. Cohabitating with a new partner after your divorce can have unintended consequences.

A “Substantial Change in Circumstances”

Generally in Illinois, maintenance is granted by the family court or by mutual agreement between the spouses. It will be granted, according to the court, to the spouse who needs it most, based on a number of factors. Some of the most important factors include:

  • Income and debt levels of both spouses

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Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce lawyerIt is not at all uncommon for middle-aged adults to shy away from the idea of divorce. Many individuals remain in unhappy marriages merely to avoid the discomfort that comes with separating later in life. For many reasons, it is completely understandable to experience extreme anxiety when faced with ending a marriage after the age of 50, especially when you have spent a good chunk of your life with your partner. The hurdles that accompany life after a gray divorce are intimidating, but they do not need to stop you from moving on and enjoying your life.

The following are examples of common fears that often cause middle-aged adults to stay in unhealthy marriages:

  • Loss of familiarity - Deciding to take the plunge and end a marriage at any point in life is a scary thing, but experts suggest that divorcing after the age of 50 tends to be particularly fear-inducing. It is not hard to see why; for starters, years of memories, habits, and routines have accumulated over time, making it seem inconceivable that another way of life could exist after the marriage. Many couples simply see divorce as an impossible feat when they look back and consider the amount of time they have invested in the relationship. For others, if the marriage is short-lived, the idea of divorcing can be just as scary, as it can feel as if time is running out. It can also translate into a failure in the individual’s mind because it causes them to wonder if it was, in fact, a waste of their time. Whatever your personal circumstances may be, you can take comfort in knowing that starting over and facing new routines is difficult for everyone, no matter which stage of life, for many different reasons. 

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Wheaton divorce lawyerAfter a divorce, it is very common for people to begin worrying about their future, especially if they are at an age where retirement may soon be an option. One of the issues that may concern them is the question of Social Security benefits. There is much confusion over who is entitled to what, and without the help of an experienced attorney, you and your ex-spouse could find yourselves back in court or embroiled in a long debate that is simply unnecessary. 

Requirements to Collect

Almost every individual in the United States who legally works will build up what the Social Security Administration (SSA) calls a work record. Normally, you will be entitled to benefits based on the length and type of your work record, but spouses or former spouses have the right to collect based on their spouse’s record if it is better than their own. The rationale is that especially for older women, who might not be as well-equipped in terms of their ability to reenter the workforce after divorce, there needs to be a safety net of sorts to keep people out of poverty. 

The SSA lists a few criteria that must be met in order to qualify for benefits on your ex-spouse’s work record, and all of them must be met:

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DuPage County gray divorce attorneyIn this day and age, it is becoming more common for senior citizens to divorce, sometimes after decades of marriage. While the causes are numerous, what many do not take into account is that divorcing at an older age can have challenges that younger couples often do not experience. If an older couple is not adequately prepared for some of the particular questions they may confront, significant issues can quickly develop.

Pensions and Other Benefits

One major concern that is not especially pressing for most younger couples is how to divide a pension or Social Security funds. If a couple has been married for ten years or longer, and one or both are over the age of 62, spouses can draw benefits on each other’s work history. This can create complexities in a divorce.

Retirement savings, investments, and pensions are generally divided using Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs), which apportion a certain percentage of one spouse’s earned retirement benefits to the other spouse. While this is not uncommon, it can still cause issues, given that one spouse’s retirement money is essentially cut in half. Budgets and estate plans will likely need to be reworked. 

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Yorkville gray divorce attorney

Getting divorced after the age of 50, often called a "gray divorce," can be especially difficult under any circumstances. However, if you have a health condition that requires regular care and treatment. You may be concerned about your ability to cover medical expenses without financial support from your spouse, especially if you relied on his or her health insurance coverage. Rest assured that there are options to ensure you continue receiving the care that you need, and your attorney can help you find one that works for you.

Options for Maintaining Health Insurance Coverage in Illinois

If you are employed after your divorce, you can likely obtain health insurance through your own employer. If you can afford it, an individual health insurance plan may also be an option. However, if neither of these is possible, there are several alternatives, including:

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