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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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St. Charles gray divorce attorney

For couples divorcing after age 50, perhaps the most pressing concern is the impact the divorce will have on retirement. When you have spent most of your life planning and budgeting for retirement as a married couple, it may be overwhelming to consider how your plans will change now that you will be on your own. It is inevitable that divorce will have some impact on your retirement, but with some careful consideration and the assistance of an attorney, it is often possible to salvage many of your retirement goals.

Preparing for Retirement During Your Illinois Divorce

Making sure that you are still able to comfortably retire after your divorce often requires smart decision-making during the divorce process as well as a clear plan for after the divorce is finalized. Important strategies to consider include:

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Geneva divorce attorney

The rate of divorce for older couples has grown over the past decade, resulting in the term “gray” divorce. Considering a divorce at any age can be scary, but for those couples who are 50 and older, it can be downright daunting. Spouses who have been married for 25 years or more often have a lot of baggage, as they say. They may have acquired a lot of marital property and assets, all of which will need to be divided if they choose to part ways and legally end the marriage. Illinois is an equitable distribution state, which means any property obtained after the wedding will need to be divided fairly based on several factors. However, in some cases, that might be the easy part. Moving on emotionally can be difficult, regardless of gender. Even though the stereotype is that they are supposed to be the stronger sex, men often have a harder time suddenly adjusting to single life after so many years with a partner.  

Moving On at Midlife 

Once they reach their 40s and 50s, many people take a look at how their lives have turned out. Often considered a “midlife crisis,” men and women alike often find themselves unhappy or disillusioned about what they have accomplished thus far, personally and professionally. In a lot of these situations, their kids are all grown and off to college or living on their own. In some cases, these “empty nesters” realize that they have nothing in common anymore and decide to part amicably. However, sometimes the wife files for divorce, leaving her husband dumbfounded. He may have been too busy pursuing his career to notice that their relationship was deteriorating beyond the point of repair. Below are a few practical tips for men who are facing life after a gray divorce:

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