400 S. County Farm Road, Suite 330, Wheaton, IL 60187

call us630-634-5050

Wheaton gray divorce lawyer

Married couples who are over the age of 50 are likely to have been together for a long period of time. After building what was expected to be a life-long relationship, raising children together, and acting as partners to help each other navigate the ups and downs of life, infidelity by one spouse can seem like an incredible betrayal. This issue may be the cause of a gray divorce, and as spouses proceed through the process of dissolving their marriage, they will want to determine the role that a spouse’s infidelity will play in the legal proceedings.

Divorce-Related Issues That May Be Affected by Infidelity

Due to the strong emotions related to infidelity and the fact that it may have been a primary reason for the breakdown of a couple’s relationship, spouses may expect that it will be an issue to be addressed during the divorce process. However, most divorce-related decisions will not focus on why a marriage is ending, but will instead address how matters will be handled as the couple dissolves their legal partnership and moves forward with their lives. Infidelity usually will only play a role in the legal process of divorce in a few specific situations:


Geneva gray divorce lawyerThere are many reasons why spouses may choose to get divorced, even after being married for many years, raising a family together, and building a life as partners. In some cases, long-held conflicts and resentments can surface after a couple’s children grow up and leave home, while in others, a couple may simply grow apart and find that they are no longer happy in their marriage. In a divorce over the age of 50, a couple may need to address many types of complex issues, and in many cases, mediation offers the best option for resolving disputes and ensuring that both spouses can move forward with their lives successfully.

Benefits of Mediation in a Gray Divorce

During a divorce, a couple will need to address a variety of legal issues as they determine how to separate their lives, their property, and their finances. Going to court to resolve these issues can take a great deal of time, and it can be very expensive, especially if a couple becomes involved in contentious disputes over issues such as the division of assets or spousal support. Mediation offers an alternative way to resolve these disputes by having the spouses work together with a neutral mediator to create a divorce settlement that they can both agree on.

Some reasons that older couples may want to use mediation during the divorce process include:


Wheaton gray divorce lawyerThe term “gray divorce” has been used to describe the increasingly frequent divorce cases involving individuals in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. Older couples divorce for countless reasons. Some gray divorces are simply formalizing the end of a marriage that has been struggling for many years. Other times, an individual files for divorce after finding out that the other spouse was having an affair. Substance abuse or addiction can also devastate a marriage.

If you are divorcing and your spouse has misused, wasted, or destroyed funds or property, you may have a valid claim of “dissipation of assets.” You may be entitled to a proportionally larger share of the marital estate during the division of marital assets.

Wasting Assets Near the End of the Marriage

When a spouse misuses or squanders a substantial amount of property before property can be divided in a divorce, Illinois law offers a remedy through a dissipation of assets claim. “Dissipation” refers to using money or property that belongs to the marital estate for a purpose not benefiting the marriage while the marriage is experiencing a “breakdown.” In other words, dissipation is squandering money or property while the marriage is nearing its end.


Kendall County gray divorce lawyerPeople over the age of 50 make up a large percentage of the population in the United States, and this demographic is continuing to grow as Baby Boomers get older and retire. As this part of the population increases, it makes sense that the rates of divorce for people over 50 are also increasing. By understanding some of the common reasons for these “gray divorces,” spouses can be aware of issues that may indicate that their marriage is in trouble, or they may decide that divorce is the best option to ensure that they can be as happy as possible throughout the rest of their lives.

Reasons Older Couples Choose to Get Divorced

  • Infidelity - Cheating can take place in any marriage, but for those who have been married for a longer amount of time, there is more opportunity for spouses to wander. This can especially be true for those who are unsatisfied with their marriage or who have experienced relationship problems. In many cases, infidelity is the “final straw” that leads couples to decide to end their marriage.

  • Financial issues - Older couples will have had longer to build and maintain financial stability, settle into spending patterns, and save for retirement. However, if a couple has experienced disagreements about finances throughout their marriage, they may eventually decide that these matters will be impossible to resolve, and they may choose to end their marriage rather than continuing to struggle over these issues. Older couples may also choose to divorce because of one spouse’s financial mismanagement, such as extravagant spending habits or gambling. The stress of unexpected debts due to health problems, job loss, or natural disasters may also cause a relationship to break down, leading to divorce.


St. Charles gray divorce attorneyIn many cases, divorce for those who are 50 or older can lead to financial difficulties. When a couple has been together for many years or multiple decades, shifting to living separately can be a huge adjustment. While it can be difficult enough for a spouse to cover their expenses on a single income, some issues, such as gambling debts, can lead to additional financial problems. In these situations, a spouse will need to understand the role that gambling debts incurred by their former partner will play in their divorce.

Gambling Debts and Asset Dissipation

Typically, debts incurred by married spouses are considered to be marital debts, and the spouses will be jointly responsible for repaying the amounts owed. However, gambling debts may be approached differently, especially if one spouse acted without the other spouse’s knowledge when incurring these debts. In these cases, the use of marital funds for gambling purposes may be considered asset dissipation.

Asset dissipation involves the use of marital property for the sole benefit of one spouse and for purposes unrelated to the couple’s marriage. This dissipation must occur while the marriage is undergoing an “irretrievable breakdown.” Gambling will often fall into this category, since a person who has a gambling addiction will often act without their spouse’s knowledge, and their actions will involve the use of marital funds for non-marital purposes. By showing that marital funds were used improperly, the other spouse will be able to ensure that this issue will be addressed correctly during the divorce process.

Back to Top