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Unique Concerns for Divorcees Over 50Going through a divorce is fundamentally the same process for everyone, regardless of their age. You need to divide the life you shared, including the assets you accumulated and the responsibilities you hold. Getting divorced when you are age 50 or older means you will approach some of these issues differently than if you were a younger couple. Your children are likely either adults or getting close to adulthood, which makes child-related issues less of a focus. However, there are other issues that can be more complicated during a gray divorce:

  1. Health Insurance: Having good health insurance coverage becomes more vital as you get older and your healthcare expenditures likely increase. Divorce may disrupt your insurance if you are on your spouse’s plan. You need to find your own health insurance source until you are old enough to start receiving Medicare. If you are not eligible for Medicare based on your own work history, you can receive Medicare under your former spouse’s plan as long as you were married for at least 10 years and you have not remarried.
  2. Retirement: Dividing retirement assets is an issue in all divorces, but divorcees age 50 and older are dealing with plans that are more mature and closer to being used. If your retirement assets are far greater than your spouse’s assets, you will likely need to share some of its value with your spouse because they are at the age where it may be too late for them to build up their retirement assets on their own. You and your spouse can negotiate whether you will share your retirement assets in one lump sum or through continued payments.
  3. Estate Plan: People 50 and older are more likely to have created an estate plan for how to divide their assets upon their death and who should have the power to make decisions on their behalf if they are incapacitated. You can update these documents following your divorce to remove your spouse as the primary beneficiary. However, you might not completely cut your spouse out of your estate plan. For instance, you may agree to give your spouse assets upon your death as a replacement for spousal maintenance.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

If you have chosen to divorce after decades of marriage, you need to work with someone who is experienced in handling cases such as yours. A St. Charles, Illinois, divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group can handle all of the complicated life issues that come with gray divorce. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.


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Dispelling Assumptions About Gray DivorceIt is difficult for people outside of a marriage to understand why a couple would divorce after being together for decades. Family and close friends want an explanation because they are surprised by and upset about the change. Observers may conclude that:

  • One of the spouses is going through a midlife crisis and made an impulsive decision to divorce; or
  • The spouses were waiting for their children to become adults before they divorced.

These are both factors that can influence the timing of a divorce. However, gray divorce can occur for reasons that defy common stereotypes:

  1. Getting a Divorce Is Rarely Impulsive: People going through a midlife crisis stereotypically seek youthful excitement, and finding a younger romantic partner can make someone feel younger. However, getting a divorce is not as simple as buying a sports car. The process takes months to complete, and the result upends your life socially and financially. Deciding to divorce can be impulsive, but completing it takes commitment.
  2. Decades of Tension Can Lead to Divorce: Spouses may realize their lack of compatibility after they have retired and are no longer actively parenting. However, people do not suddenly stop loving each other. The spouses’ relationship had likely been flawed for years. Careers and parenting can fill a void in a marriage when spouses do not communicate, lack affection or cannot cooperate with each other. When forced to interact with each other, spouses can no longer ignore that they are unhappy together.
  3. People Stay Married for Reasons Other than Children: Parents do try to protect their children by delaying their divorce until after the children have left the home. However, it is difficult to stay in a marriage for that reason alone. In practical terms, waiting for their children to become adults spares the parents from including child support or the allocation of parental responsibilities in the settlement. The parents may cling to their marriage because they still care for each other or are afraid of being alone.
  4. Both Rich and Poor Choose Gray Divorce: Gray divorce seems like a luxury because it is expensive and leaves each spouse with fewer assets. However, unhappy spouses will divorce, even if they cannot afford it. Financial strife is one of the main stressors in a marriage that can cause conflict and lead to divorce. Wealthier couples can afford to build separate lives from each other while staying married.

Getting a Gray Divorce

The division of property and spousal maintenance can be complicated if you divorce after a long marriage. A Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you with your gray divorce. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

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Be Careful with Online Dating After Gray DivorcePeople who divorce after age 50 may feel an urgency to start dating again and find a new romantic partner. You do not like the sudden loneliness you feel after decades of being married. There is also a heightened sense of your biological clock ticking and wanting to start a relationship while you can still enjoy it. You will learn that the dating process has changed since the time you met your former spouse. Online dating websites have in many ways taken the place of singles bars and other such venues. The prospect of meeting your match from the comfort of your computer can be both exciting and scary. Gray divorcees must be careful when using online dating services. Bad experiences can drain your post-divorce assets and damage your vulnerable psyche.

What is Online Dating?

Online dating sites are essentially social media sites for the purpose of starting relationships or friendships. As a member, you will create a profile that includes:

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Divorce When a Spouse Has DementiaWhen a spouse enters the advanced stages of dementia, his or her marital relationship fundamentally changes. The healthy spouse becomes a caregiver or hires a healthcare professional to perform the duties. Either way, the spouses’ relationship as partners is over. Unfortunately, a marriage to a dementia patient can deteriorate to the point that the spouses divorce. How a court considers a divorce case involving someone with dementia depends on which party is initiating the divorce.

Divorcing a Dementia Patient

Spouses of dementia patients may have mixed feelings about whether they should stay in their marriages. Most people feel they should remain loyal to their spouses, regardless of the mental or physical deterioration they suffer. However, having a spouse with dementia may not feel like being married at all:

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divorce-after-50We are living in a much different America than the one in which our parents and grandparents lived. Not only are we living and working longer, issues like divorce, remarriage, and parenting after divorce are no longer taboo to discuss and seek help with handling.

Gray divorce, divorces between couples who are aged 50 and older, have seen a dramatic increase in recent years. Many of these couples are in their first marriages, finding that they no longer want to remain married after decades together. Other couples in this category are ending their second or subsequent marriages, finding themselves facing challenges they did not face with their first divorces. If you are over the age of 50 and considering filing for divorce, understand the issues that are relevant to your situation by working with an experienced divorce attorney.

How Divorce Will Affect Your Retirement Benefits

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