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Posted on in Over 50

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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Posted on in Divorce

Five Documents You Must Update After DivorceChanging your marital status back to single has a wide-spread impact on various documents and forms of identification related to your life. There is a long list of updates that you will need to make, though many of them can wait until after you have completed your divorce. Failing to make these updates can cause confusion that will be more difficult to fix after the fact. You should write a list of documents that you need to update, which may include the following:

  1. Estate Plan: If you created a will or trust for after your death, your former spouse is likely the primary beneficiary. It is your choice whether your spouse should be completely cut out of the estate plan, but you likely want to change it from what you decided during your marriage. If you die before updating your estate plan, your former spouse and your family may get in a legal battle about who you intended to inherit your assets.
  2. Power of Attorney: An estate plan may include documents naming the person with the power of attorney over your health and financial decisions in the event that you are incapable of making your own decisions. Once again, your former spouse likely has this authority if the documents were created or updated during your marriage. You need to decide who should have the power of attorney instead.
  3. Life Insurance: You likely do not want your former spouse to benefit from your life insurance policy in the event of your death, but some divorcees still keep their former spouses as part of the policy. Life insurance could compensate your former spouse for spousal maintenance payments that you would no longer make after your death. If you want your children to be the sole beneficiaries of your life insurance, you may need to name your co-parent as the custodian of that money if the children are minors at the time of your death.
  4. Health Insurance: If you were previously on your spouse’s health insurance policy, you will need to sign up for your own insurance. If your spouse was previously on your insurance, you may be able to change your family plan to a single adult plan if you have no children or your children will be on your former spouse’s plan.
  5. Change of Address: If you have left your marital home, you need to update your permanent address with the state, such as on your driver’s license or state ID. You will also need to change your address on other accounts that include an address.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer

Getting a divorce is a complicated process with as many small changes as there are big changes. A Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you create a to-do-list for during and after your divorce. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.

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You Can Continue on Your Spouse's Health Insurance After DivorceHealth insurance is one of the most important and costly services often shared between spouses. When you get divorced, you will be responsible for procuring your own health insurance if you were on your former spouse’s plan. If your employer allows it, you may be able to immediately sign up with your own employee health plan. But what if you do not have that option? There are a couple of insurance choices you should consider.

Insurance Continuation

Normally, continuing coverage on your previous health insurance plan is available through COBRA insurance. Premiums under this plan can cost up to 102 percent of the group rate.

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Posted on in Divorce

The cost of health insurance is one of the many factors to consider when contemplating divorce.  According to a 2012 study by the University of Michigan, approximately 115,000 women lose their private health insurance every year due to divorce. Under the Affordable Care Act, or as it is colloquially known, Obamacare, however, divorce could decrease health insurance costs.

  health insurance & divorce IMAGECurrently, individuals and couples within a particular income range can receive Obamacare subsidies that lower the amount they spend monthly or reduce their out-of-pocket costs for copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. Married couples have their incomes counted together for the purposes of determining their eligibility for Obamacare subsidies. In contrast, couples that live together without getting married have their incomes evaluated separately. For example, a married couple from New York recently announced that they might file for divorce to qualify for Obamacare subsidies. Nona Aronowitz and Aaron Cassara related to The Atlantic that a divorce could save the couple thousands of dollars in health insurance costs.  Nona, a freelance writer, and Aaron, who works in the film industry, earn more than $62,000 a year. The couple’s yearly income places them over the 400 percent of the federal poverty level cutoff to qualify for Obamacare subsidies.  However, if the coupled divorced and chose instead to simply live together, they would qualify for the subsidies and save thousands of dollars a year. Moreover, even if Nona and Aaron’s combined income fell below 400 percent of the federal poverty level, the subsidies for which the couple would be eligible might be worth less than subsidies for which they would be eligible as unmarried, cohabitating individuals. While Kane County couples are unlikely to consider divorce to increase their eligibility for subsidies to purchase insurance, couples contemplating divorce should think about the health-related implications of their divorce.  Other Health-Related Concerns in a Divorce Aside from health insurance costs, there are other health-related considerations for those contemplating or in the midst of divorce.
  • Insurance premiums: A temporary court order could be required to make sure that all health insurance premiums get paid as usual.

  • Long-term-care coverage: If a couple already owns long-term-care insurance together, they need to research what happens to their coverage in a divorce.

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