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Naperville IL divorce lawyerDivorce is one of the most difficult life events an individual or family can face, and being older and more financially entangled can add significant challenges to the process. The decision to get divorced after 50 should only be made after serious consideration, and people commonly feel some hesitation about what to do and when to do it. Fortunately, there are attorneys experienced in divorce among older couples, and there are things you can do yourself to prepare for divorce and make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Consider Mediation or Collaborative Divorce

Fewer divorce cases go to court than in the past–and for good reason. Spouses who use mediation or a collaborative divorce process often have smoother divorces, and both parties can save time and money. There is more independent decision-making, and the formality and hassle of court proceedings can be avoided. However, collaborative divorce is often insufficient for divorces involving complex financial situations or significant assets, especially if one person controls the finances and the other may be unaware of the couple’s full financial picture.

Think Carefully About Finances

One of the most important and complex aspects of divorce after 50 is the divorcing couple’s financial picture. Spouses who are divorcing at older ages can have decades of commingled bank accounts, multiple homes, retirement funds, and Social Security benefits to work through.

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Kane County gray divorce attorneyOne of the biggest myths surrounding a gray divorce is that the divorce will not affect the adult children of the divorcing couple. A gray divorce, or one that takes place after the age of 50, has the potential to affect everyone in the family. Even though you may not have to deal with issues like child support and parenting time, your adult children can take the news of your divorce just as harshly as young children would. Most divorcing couples with adult children do not factor them into the divorce equation at all. While they are farther removed from the situation than a minor child would be, there are still things that you should do to protect your adult children during your gray divorce.

Understand that Your Adult Children Will Grieve the Divorce

Many people feel as if their adult children will not feel the effects of the divorce; however, that is simply not true. Even when your children are adults, a divorce can affect their lives. The dynamics of the family that they know and grew up with are changing while the world around them is telling them that they should not be affected by their parents’ issues. A sense of isolation is common for adult children of divorce, as they feel like they are unable to talk to anyone about how they are feeling. Encouraging your children to talk to you about how they feel toward the divorce can help them cope with their feelings.

Adult Children Often Feel Stuck in Between Parents

When children and parents are both adults, the relationship often changes. Rather than the parent-child relationship during their childhood, it becomes more of a friendship during your child’s adult years. This can often lead to parents oversharing during a divorce. Even though your child is an adult and has the capacity to understand all of your issues, that does not mean they need or want to hear about them. Even adults deserve to be able to maintain relationships with their parents without the influence of events that happened between their parents.

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DuPage County gray divorce lawyerThe divorce rate in America has long been a topic of interest, and in recent years, attention has turned to divorces involving Americans who are over the age of 50. While the overall divorce rate has been decreasing, the divorce rate for those who are age 50 and older has actually been increasing, according to the Pew Research Center. Since 1990, the divorce rate for adults aged 50 and older has doubled. When looking at just adults who are 65 and older, the divorce rate has nearly tripled since 1990. Researchers have speculated several reasons as to why the divorce rate is undergoing such an increase for couples in their golden years.

Older Americans Are More Likely to Be in a Second or Third Marriage

According to data from Pew, many adults in the Baby Boomer generation experienced divorce in their young adult lives back in the late 1970s and 1980s. Like many divorced people, a large number of Baby Boomers eventually remarried. Unfortunately, statistics show that second and third marriages tend to be much less stable and have a higher chance of divorce. Research shows that 48 percent of adults over the age of 50 who divorced in 2015 were in their second or subsequent marriage.

More Women Are in the Workplace Than Ever Before

Another reason that has been pointed out as potentially contributing to the higher divorce rate is women moving into the workforce. For many people in the Baby Boomer generation, women generally stayed in the home to care for the household while men worked and were the breadwinners. Now, there are more women than ever in the workforce, allowing women to gain a sense of financial independence, many of whom had never had it before.

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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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Yorkville gray divorce attorney

If you are over the age of 50, the safety issues and the hassles associated with the divorce process might make it seem near impossible to get a divorce during the pandemic. It is even easier to put a gray divorce on the back burner when you consider all the warnings from public health officials stating that older people tend to be at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 if not “locked down.” Here in Illinois, the divorce courts have been able to adjust to the “new normal” and attempt to restore some semblance of “business as usual” with regards to divorce cases, adapting when necessary to protect all parties involved from the pandemic. In other words, you can pursue that divorce based on the following reassurances.

4 Ways Illinois Restored Safe Divorce Court Operations

It is true that when the COVID-19 pandemic first became a major statewide problem in Illinois during March of this year, the courts closed entirely to comply with Governor Pritzker’s Stay-at-Home Order, creating a backlog of cases. However, within less than a few months, recognizing that the pandemic would last for an extended period of time—and also seeing that the state had the five-phase “Restore Illinois” reopening plan in process, the court system began altering its processes to accommodate this “new normal.” A few of the ways that the Illinois judicial branch operations have remained flexible during these challenging times include:

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Posted on in Divorce

DuPage County gray divorce attorney

Divorce after 50 presents itself with all sorts of new challenges, including fear of the unknowns in your life, like how you will achieve your dreams now, what will happen with your retirement, how you will make ends meet on a fixed income without your spouse, if you will have to work until you die, or if you will ever fall in love again. While all of these are valid and warranted concerns, there are ways to not only survive but thrive after your gray divorce. Here are some tips to get you started. Who knows? Maybe you will lead an even better life after your gray divorce than you did the 50 years prior.

4 Steps to Surviving a Gray Divorce

Over the last three decades, gray divorce rates have nearly doubled. This all-too-common type of divorce might seem daunting, but ultimately it is for the best—and you can make both your lives better if you are willing and able. But the first goal is survival. There are numerous ways to get through a gray divorce, but four key steps are:

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