The process of ending a marriage is complicated, but it may be even more complex for couples who are over a certain age. Couples age 50 and up are making the choice to end their marriages at a higher rate than other demographics, leading to the term gray divorce. In many cases, gray divorce involves several complex financial factors, such as retirement and division of extensive marital property.
The number of gray divorces is rising, even as the divorce rate in other age brackets is declining. In fact, the last 50 years has seen the divorce rate for people age 50 and up more than double. Reasons for this include longer life expectancy and less stigma surrounding divorce.
The financial impact of gray divorce
When a couple divorces, it is often because they are unhappy and want the opportunity for personal fulfillment in the future. In addition to the prospect of future happiness, it is critical for a person facing a gray divorce to also consider the financial impact of this choice. If you are walking through this process and nearing retirement age, the following financial considerations may be important:
- Your divorce could result in a reduction of your retirement assets by as much as half. This could change the date for your planned retirement and what you hope to do in your golden years.
- Alimony is a critical factor, especially if you are getting ready to exit a decades-long marriage. Payment of alimony can limit financial resources, especially after retirement.
- You may not be able to stay in the family home, especially if you will not be able to afford payments, upkeep and taxes on your own.
As you negotiate your final divorce settlement, it is helpful to remain focused on your long-term interests, not just what seems beneficial in the immediate future. There is a lot at stake, but it is possible to secure terms that allow you to have a secure and prosperous future.
Looking ahead with confidence
No matter how long your marriage lasted, your gray divorce will impact your future. With much on the line, you will find great benefit in working with an experienced Illinois family law attorney who can help you protect your interests and secure terms that are fair, sustainable and allow you to look to the future with confidence. Before you make any important decisions, it may be beneficial to start with a complete evaluation of your case.