Grey Divorce Attorney in Naperville, Illinois
Divorce in the later years of life is referred to as a “grey” or “silver” divorce and can present challenges that an earlier divorce might not have, even when there is probably no issue about custody, child support, or parenting time.
More and more couples in their later years are deciding it’s time to untie the knot. A later-age divorce can force either or both spouses to make major financial decisions and leave them facing a future alone or at least without the familiarity of the companionship they’ve known.
If you are considering a late-life divorce in or around Naperville, Illinois, contact me immediately at Emmerth Divorce Law, PLLC. I can discuss your reasons for divorce and weigh your options going forward. My sole practice is based on family law and divorce, so I’m here to help people seek and find solutions to problems they are facing in their marriages.
In addition to Naperville, I proudly serve clients in Warrenville, Wheaton, Oak Brook, Hinsdale, Downers Grove, St. Charles, and Geneva, Illinois.
Common Reasons for Late-Life Divorce
There are many reasons couples who have been together for decades, nearing retirement age, or have already lived past that turning point to consider divorce.
One reason could be called the “empty-nest syndrome.” The children are gone, and you suddenly realize that your time together was fulfilling while raising children, but now you don’t have a bond to keep you together.
This syndrome underlies the other reasons for late-life divorce, especially if you’re both retired and home together constantly – you don’t share the same passions or pursuits in life anymore. You simply don’t fulfill one another without the responsibilities of working and achieving together that once existed.
Whatever the reason, you need to seek professional legal counseling before taking the final step toward divorce. There are many financial and other factors that need to be reviewed carefully before taking the final step toward an end to the marriage.
Divorce Law in Illinois
Illinois allows couples to divorce by simply asserting they have reached an “irretrievable breakdown” in their relationship, which is another way of saying there are irreconcilable differences. You can be a new resident in the state and file for divorce immediately, but any judgment or settlement will be delayed 90 days.
As for the division of property, Illinois law states that assets must be divided “equitably.” A judge in a divorce case would consider several factors in deciding what is equitable, including the financial contributions and future prospects of both spouses, the duration of the marriage, and the prospect that either would acquire assets in the future.
The best approach to divorce is to decide these issues among yourselves and present a settlement agreement to the court for approval. This not only saves time and money but helps eliminate lingering disputes after a judgment has been rendered.
Considerations for Pursuing a Late-Life Divorce
Your financial future and where you’re going to live are probably two of the biggest considerations when facing a late-life divorce. For instance, if you own a home together, who gets it, or do you sell it and split the profits?
If one spouse has stayed at home to rear the children, never really pursued a career, and perhaps has little or no retirement savings, does the issue of alimony come into the picture? Even if both spouses enjoyed successful careers and built up a nice nest egg for retirement, do you split the accounts, so each spouse has equal funds for the future?
Life insurance may also be a factor to consider. If one or both of you took out a policy to care for the other should you pass away, do you retain those policies or fulfill their promises in some other way? Decisions need to be made.
According to Illinois law, assets must be split equitably, which does not always translate to 50/50, but finances for each spouse’s future are a huge concern in divorce proceedings and in settlements presented to the court for approval. Everything acquired during the marriage, in whoever’s name, is considered marital property except inheritances or gifts to one spouse alone.
Social Security may also be an issue. Here, the rules can get a bit complicated, so you should check with your attorney about your options.
Basically, if you’ve been married for at least ten years and are age 62 or older, you may be eligible to receive 50 percent of your ex-spouse’s accumulated Social Security retirement benefits. If your former spouse dies and you were married for at least ten years and are 60 or older, you can receive survivor benefits of 100 percent of your former spouse’s Social Security retirement account.
Grey Divorce Attorney
Serving Naperville, Illinois
Divorcing later in life often means more marital property to be divided and more decisions about how both spouses find their way financially in the future after so many years together. At Emmerth Divorce Law, PLLC in Naperville, Illinois, I can help you navigate the future landscape and come to decisions that protect both spouses in an equitable, mutually agreed-upon way. Contact my firm today to learn more about your options.