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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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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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DuPage County divorce lawyerThose going through a divorce often give significant thought to moving to another city or state so they can get a fresh start. Actually moving, of course, requires careful consideration of many different factors, including the prospects of finding a job, the quality of school districts, and more. For those who are over age 50, however, the factors that could affect the decision to move away are often considerably different than they might have been at an earlier point in their lives. A qualified older divorce lawyer can help you decide on the best course of action for your unique situation.

Things to Think About Before Moving

As you think about where you would like to live after your divorce, you may be thinking about the same places you were considering during your marriage for your retirement years. For example, many older couples plan to move somewhere warm—such as Florida or Arizona—when they retire. Such places could be fine if you have sufficient retirement savings, but restarting after a divorce in those places might be more expensive than you can handle on your own. Other considerations are important as well.

When choosing a place to start again after your divorce, you should give some thought to the following:

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Kane County divorce lawyerDepending on when you and your spouse decided to have children, you may be nearing retirement age and still have teenagers at home. This is especially common for couples who have a larger number of children, and it can create unique challenges if you and your spouse opt to end your marriage through divorce.

According to recent studies, about one in four teenagers whose parents are going through divorce suffer from issues like depression or reckless behavior. Unlike younger children, who may become clingy during a divorce, teenagers will often distance themselves and keep their emotions tight to appear mature and in control of the situation. Teenagers are old enough to understand the world, but they still require the care of a parent. Given the turbulence that already comes with the adolescent years, divorce can be especially stressful for teenagers. 

Is My Child Stressed?

Teenagers usually have the language skills to discuss how they feel, but they will rarely do so without prompting. There are short-term effects from divorce that are to be expected in any child, such as sadness, guilt, and anger. However, parents should also be aware of the long-term issues that may arise. Some signs to look out for include:

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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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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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DuPage County divorce lawyerWhen people get divorced and consider relocating to another state as a way of getting a fresh start, there are many things they might consider—from job prospects to housing options, there are all sorts of concerns. But when you are over the age of 50, and in the middle of what is known as a “gray divorce,” there are other considerations that should be made before you decide exactly where to establish new residency. Here are some examples of these important concerns.

4 Things to Think About Before Relocating After a Gray Divorce

While you may think that there is a lot of overlap between the best places to live after divorce and the best places to live in retirement, the truth is that there is very little correlation between the two. Sure, some people might rank Florida as a top-five state for retirement, but in terms of getting a divorce in Florida or even restarting your life in Florida after a gray divorce, it could be much more expensive than you are willing to tolerate. Here are some important things to consider about possible relocation sites after divorce:  

  1. Affordability is even more critical. Of course, no one likes spending more money than they have to, which is why places like California, despite the warm climate, are often out of the question. This is never truer than for retirees or former spouses approaching the age of 50 and considering retiring in the near future. The limited income that comes with retirement means they may be unable to afford the luxurious lifestyle that warmer climates often require, making some of the least expensive options, like Nebraska and Iowa, more desirable than originally thought.

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