For a couple in Illinois, getting a divorce is a difficult process to go through at any age. Oftentimes, divorce cases are generally perceived to involve younger people. Increasingly, however, older people are getting divorced. These are commonly referred to as “gray” divorces. There are a variety of different issues that will arise for these couples that must be addressed. Understanding the challenges that will come up is critical to deal with the case effectively.
The number of people who are older than 50 and are getting a divorce has risen substantially. In 2010, around 25% of divorces involved people in that age range. In 1990, it was one in 10. One of the biggest concerns for these couples is how it will affect them financially. Bowling Green University recently released a study assessing financial considerations faced by these couples. Those 50 and older who get a divorce should be prepared for their accrued wealth to reduce by as much as half. Women are generally impacted more negatively than men.
People who are older will be less able to recoup what they have lost because they do not have enough time to do so. Retirement plans will be harder to accumulate. Looking for a job in general is harder for an older person. Those 50 and older will likely be free of young children, but they are more prone to having a child who is heading to college. This creates a different financial strain. Living expenses were previously shared.
The overall numbers for gray divorce are still less than those of younger people. 11% of people who have gotten a divorce have done so after age 50. People 50 and older who divorce will have a better financial head start than younger people, as divorced males have at least $165,000 more in assets than their younger counterparts. For women, that number is $50,000.
Despite the different landscape of family legal issues in a gray divorce, there are still myriad concerns that should be addressed. Understanding family law options is crucial.