All divorcing couples face their own set of issues, problems, and hiccups during the divorce process. Further, what is important to one couple in a divorce may be completely different than what is important to another, especially when the couples’ ages, financial statuses, home ownerships, or parenthood is taken into account. For those who are pursuing a grey divorce, many of the issues that other couples face are not relevant. The following considers some of the unique complications and issues of grey divorces, such as division or property and spousal maintenance, in Illinois, including the areas of Wheaton, Naperville, and Downers Grove:
What is Grey Divorce?
Grey divorce refers to the separation of couples who are age 50 or older, and is becoming a more common occurrence in the United States. In fact, an article in NPR News reports that Americans over age 50 are now twice as likely to get divorced today as they were 50 years ago. After spending so many years together—for some couples, more than half their lifetime—a grey divorce can be painful and emotional, even when it is the right thing to do.
Dividing Assets in Grey Divorce
One unique issue to those who are approaching retirement age is the division of assets during divorce. While many young couples may not worry about dividing things like pension plans and retirement accounts—or may have few assets of value—those who are pursuing a grey divorce often have economic issues at stake. Understanding how funds will be dividing can be complicated. Per Illinois Compiled Statutes Section 503, all pension benefits that are acquired during the course of the marriage are considered to be marital property, and are subject to equitable division as such. The same is true for other property acquired during the marriage, such as a house, vehicles, retirement benefits, etc.
A younger individual who is pursuing a divorce and who is financially dependent may have more opportunities to pursue education, develop a skill, and earn a gainful income than does a person who is over the age of 50. For this reason, spousal support payments are often a pressing issue during divorce proceedings. Because Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act reads that “the duration of the marriage” and “the relevant economic circumstances of each spouse” are to be considered when making a determination about spousal support payments, a person who is seeking a grey divorce, who is financially dependent, and who has been married to their spouse for a significant duration of time is often able to successfully recover spousal support, or alimony, payments.
Do I Need an Attorney When Pursuing a Grey Divorce?
In some ways, grey divorces are less complicated than are divorces between younger couples – for example, child support and child custody are rarely issues that must be considered. On the other hand, grey divorces can also be more complex, especially when large amounts of assets are involved. If you are pursuing a grey divorce in Illinois, consulting with an experienced Naperville family law attorney is within your best interest. To schedule a free case consultation with the family law lawyers at Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C. today, call 630-961-0060 now.