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How Can I Support Myself on a Limited Income After a Gray Divorce?

 Posted on November 30, 2021 in Divorce

Naperville Divorce LawyerWhile divorce at any age can put a person in a difficult financial position, those who get divorced while over the age of 50 may be especially concerned about their ability to support themselves. In cases where a spouse did not work during their marriage, they may be unsure about whether they will be able to get a job this late in life that will allow them to earn enough income to provide for their needs. If one spouse earned the majority of a couple’s income, the other spouse may have relied on them to cover ongoing expenses, and they may worry that they will not be able to support themselves on their own. Spouses who have already retired or who are approaching retirement age may also be worried about whether they will be able to receive the necessary benefits to cover their ongoing expenses. Depending on a couple’s circumstances, spousal support may be awarded to ensure that a spouse with limited financial resources will be able to meet their needs.

Addressing Spousal Support in a Gray Divorce

Spousal maintenance, which may also be referred to using the terms “spousal support” or “alimony,” may be appropriate in divorce cases where one spouse earns a higher income than the other. This support will usually take the form of monthly payments made by one ex-spouse to the other. The purpose of maintenance is to make sure both spouses will have the financial resources that will allow them to maintain the standard of living they were accustomed to throughout their marriage. If a spouse did not work during their marriage, or if they have earned and are currently able to earn a significantly lower income than the other spouse, they may be able to receive spousal maintenance.

Spousal support is not awarded automatically, but a couple may be able to negotiate a divorce settlement in which they agree that one spouse will pay support to the other. However, if they cannot reach an agreement, they may need to ask a divorce court judge to make the final decision about whether to award maintenance. In these cases, a judge may consider multiple relevant factors that affect the spouses’ lives, including each spouse’s current income, their ongoing needs, their realistic earning capacity, the feasibility of pursuing education or training that would allow the lower-earning spouse to increase the income they can earn, whether one spouse chose to attend to family duties and household responsibilities instead of pursuing a career, and whether one spouse helped the other increase their income-earning ability while the couple was married.

If spousal support will be paid by one spouse, a formula defined in Illinois law will usually be used to determine the amount that should be paid. This formula will take both spouses’ incomes into account. The length of time that payments will be paid will depend on how long the couple was married. For couples who have been married for 20 years or more, maintenance payments may last the full length of the couple’s marriage, or it may be paid indefinitely.

Contact Our Yorkville Spousal Maintenance Attorneys

You deserve to be able to support yourself after your divorce. If you are concerned about meeting your needs with the financial resources that are available to you, Divorce Over 50 - Goostree Law Group can advise you on whether you may be able to receive spousal maintenance. We will work to protect your interests during the divorce process and help you receive the support you need. Contact our Kendall County spousal support lawyers at 630-634-5050 to schedule your free consultation today.




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