When a couple is married, the spouses envision growing old together. Unfortunately, for some couples, that dream never becomes a reality. Divorce can be a difficult time, no matter when it occurs in life. However, when a couple divorces after 20 or 30 years of marriage, there are factors to consider other than the normal issues surrounding a divorce. For example, the division of assets and child custody are two that often create conflict in a typical divorce. Couples may spend countless hours going back and forth before reaching an amicable resolution. However, when older couples divorce, the question of child custody is moot since the children are usually adults and have started their own families.
In general, asset division is a significant issue in a divorce among older couples. But although the issue of the division of assets may be relevant in a gray divorce, there are also additional factors that should not be overlooked.
Issues Related to a Gray Divorce
According to the National Center for Family and Marriage Research, in 2010 approximately one in four divorces occurred between people 50 years of age and older. According to the same study, the trend known as “gray divorce” has doubled between the years 1990 and 2010. Since divorce among people over the age of 50 years old has become more prevalent, the following are some of the issues that older couples face when going through a divorce:
- Healthcare: A spouse that no longer works may have to consider what type of health care insurance they will receive when no longer married to their working spouse. People are generally not eligible for Medicare until the age of 65 years old, thus it may be necessary to determine whether the working spouse will be responsible for providing temporary health insurance until the non-working spouse is eligible for Medicare;
- Retirement Plans: Couples over the age of 50 years old usually have significant retirement benefits, pensions, or contribution plans that can make dividing assets even more complicated. It is important to accurately determine what type of benefits each spouse is eligible for prior to reaching a divorce settlement; and
- Family Dynamics: Once an older couple divorces, it can also have an affect on the rest of the family members. Depending on each couple’s situation, they may have older children and even grandchildren. It can be difficult for the younger generations to comprehend that the mother and father figures of their families are splitting up and will no longer be sharing a home.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney in DuPage County
If you are contemplating divorce in Illinois, contact one of the knowledgeable DuPage County divorce attorneys at Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. today. Regardless of how long you have been married, our attorneys can help you quickly and effectively finalize your divorce so that you can focus on moving on with your life.