The issues that you will face in your divorce will largely depend on the life stage you are in. Those with dependent children are often most concerned with child custody agreements. However, those who do not have children and those with adult children are more concerned with asset division, especially if they are approaching retirement.
If you are over 50 and are considering divorce, you should take the time to reflect on your priorities regarding the outcome. The following are some of the issues that are uniquely prevalent for divorce after age 50.
If one spouse has focused much of their lives on raising the children rather than earning an income, they will likely have a limited potential to earn an income in the years before retirement age. It is likely that a divorcing spouse in this position will be entitled to spousal support (also known as maintenance) for a certain amount of time. This will be ordered to be paid by the spouse who was earning a higher portion of income during the marriage. Spousal maintenance can be a highly contested issue for those divorcing after 50.
Dividing assets in divorce after 50
Older couples are more likely to have acquired significant assets during their lifetime. Therefore, the process of asset division can become more complicated. It may be difficult to determine which assets are marital property and which count as separate property (property that was acquired by one spouse before the marriage was initiated). These issues also have the potential to cause significant disputes.
Divorce could affect your retirement plans
The financial impact of a divorce could lead you to experience a less financially comfortable retirement. It could also mean that you will be forced to access your retirement funds early.
Acting early could be beneficial
Some people delay divorce until they feel it is necessary for their happiness. By delaying action, you may put yourself at a disadvantage. Filing for divorce when approaching retirement could impede your financial freedom. A divorce earlier in your life may result in lower spousal support obligations.
If you are considering divorce in Illinois and you are concerned about how doing so may affect your retirement, it is best to be proactive and review your options with a knowledgeable family law attorney.