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Kendall County Grey Divorce AttorneyThere are many situations where older couples may encounter relationship issues that cause them to consider divorce. However, those who have been married for many years or multiple decades may be hesitant to take the final, irrevocable step of ending their marriage. Starting over late in life may be a daunting prospect, and disentangling the various aspects of a couple’s shared existence may seem like an impossible task, especially when spouses share finances, live together in a home they have owned for a long period of time, and have accumulated a large number of possessions that have a sentimental value for both of them. In some cases, a couple may consider a legal separation instead of legally dissolving their marriage, but when doing so, they will need to understand the advantages and disadvantages of this type of arrangement.

Pros of Legal Separation

A couple may choose to pursue a trial separation as they decide whether they want to proceed with a divorce or whether they may be able to repair their relationship. By taking steps to begin separating from each other, they may be able to set the divorce process in motion, establish separate living arrangements, start to handle financial issues independently, and make decisions about who will own different pieces of property. If they do choose to go ahead with their divorce, this can help them take much of the uncertainty out of the process, and they may be able to avoid disputes that could prolong their divorce or lead to additional expenses.

A legal separation will address many of the same issues as a divorce. If one spouse will be at a financial disadvantage, they may request spousal maintenance from the other party during the couple’s separation. The couple may also reach an agreement on issues related to the division of marital property. By remaining legally married, one or both spouses may be able to take advantage of certain benefits, such as health insurance coverage provided by one spouse’s employer.

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Yorkville Grey Divorce AttorneyGetting divorced at any age comes with financial challenges, but older adults often face a unique set of hurdles when ending their marriage. If you are over age 50 and thinking about getting divorced, you may have questions about property, debt, income, retirement, and more. You may be especially concerned about your ability to access retirement benefits and Social Security income. Regardless of where you are in the separation or divorce process, it is important to know how Social Security and retirement benefits are handled in Illinois divorce cases so you can make the best decisions possible moving forward.

Retirement Assets in an Illinois Divorce

Retirement accounts, including IRAs, pensions, and 401(k)s are treated the same as any other asset in a divorce. Whatever portion of the retirement funds were accumulated during the marriage are marital funds in which both spouses have a stake in. Retirement funds that were accumulated before the couple got married are typically non-marital assets owned solely by the retirement plan holder. However, if the couple had a prenuptial agreement classifying retirement assets as either marital or non-marital, the court will most likely uphold this agreement during a divorce.

Spouses may decide to divide retirement funds using a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), or they may assign one spouse retirement funds and the other spouse property of equivalent value. A divorce lawyer experienced in retirement asset division during divorce can help divorcing spouses choose the option that is most advantageous to them.

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Kendall County Domestic Abuse Divorce LawyerDomestic violence affects every age, race, and income level. Often, some of the most abusive marriages are those that appear perfect from an outsider’s perspective. Sadly, many domestic violence victims stay in abusive relationships because they are afraid to leave. They may not have the financial means to live independently or worry about what people would think if they left the relationship. Others stay with abusive partners because their partners have brainwashed them into thinking that they somehow deserve the abuse. If you are over age 50 and want to end an abusive marriage, a divorce lawyer experienced in domestic violence issues can help.

Abuse is Not Always Physical

One of the most common misconceptions about domestic abuse is that it is always physical in nature. Hitting, kicking, slapping, and pushing are only one form of domestic violence. Per Illinois law, abuse can also involve non-physical forms of harm. In older couples, abuse often takes the form of mental and emotional maltreatment, financial control, and intimidation.

Domestic violence in a marriage with spouses over age 50 may involve:

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Yorkville Divorce AttorneyBeing a doctor, dentist, or other medical professional comes with a unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Owning your own practice gives a medical professional a greater degree of control and financial stability, but it also involves significant liability. Gray divorce, or divorce involving spouses aged 50 or older, is already challenging. Divorce involving a business or professional practice is even harder. If you are getting divorced and you or your spouse own a medical practice or other professional practice, it is crucial to understand how this will influence your divorce.

Understanding Ownership of a Professional Practice in a Divorce

Professional practices are treated like other assets in an Illinois divorce. Ideally, spouses will use a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement to specify ownership of a professional practice long before a divorce. However, if no such agreement exists, determining ownership of the practice will be more difficult.

A medical practice that was established during the marriage may be considered marital property. This means that both spouses are entitled to an equitable share of the practice’s value. Medical practices that were established before the marriage may be non-marital property. However, any increase in the value of the practice during the marriage may be marital property.

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Yorkville Gray Divorce LawyerFor many people going through a divorce over 50, reentering the workforce is an intimidating but necessary reality. While, in some cases, spousal support may be enough to meet your financial needs, many divorced individuals over 50 must find another source of income. You may be restarting a career that you put on hold while raising kids and managing your home. In some cases, you may be entering the workforce for the first time. The positive news is that you can use tools to make this transition more successful as you look to find a fulfilling and financially rewarding job after your gray divorce.

Opportunities for Job Search Assistance

  1. There is often assistance for job seekers available in your local community. Many cities and counties have employee assistance programs to help you with resume preparation, interview techniques, and job search tools. Sometimes these are offered through your local library, school district continuing education programs, or a community college. These can include courses to improve or enhance your proficiencies in specific marketable skills, such as computer programs or other training.

  2. If you want to experience or explore a new field, volunteering can be an excellent way to try new opportunities. Volunteering can help you learn new skills, brush up on previous experience, and expand your network of employment opportunities. If your financial needs are more immediate, you can consider part-time or seasonal work.

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