Although divorce in Illinois can be a financially and emotionally trying process at any age, people going through gray divorces -- or divorces in their later years -- face a special challenge. They are closer to retirement and thus have less time to financially bounce back from a divorce before they reach their golden years. A few tips may help individuals to navigate the divorce process while protecting their retirement plans.
First, it is essential to take an inventory of all of one's assets. Any marital asset may become a potential retirement asset. It is especially important to consider assets, such as obscure employment benefits, including deferred compensation, stock options, HAS accounts, pension values and bonuses when dividing assets as part of a divorce.
It is additionally important to understand the risks that accompany different types of assets. For instance, one person may agree to allow his future ex-wife to run her business, but he would get 50 percent of the business's proceeds upon her sale of the business. The ex-wife might have promised to sell the business soon but then later changed her mind years after the divorce. In the meantime, the ex-wife is the only one who gets to benefit from the business's cash flow.
Going through divorce can be complicated, but an applied understanding of the law may help people in Illinois to understand their rights and fight for their best interests. This includes fighting for their fair share of assets and property. Through the negotiation or mediation process, it may be possible to reach a settlement that satisfies both parties in the end.
Source: thefiscaltimes.com, "Don't Let a Late-Life Divorce Ruin Your Retirement Plans", Janna Herron, May 4, 2016