A gray divorce is experienced by couples who are in their midlife and beyond. Most couples in this type of divorce are 50 years and older, with most of them being married for 20 to 30 years.
Most people divorce for their own unique reasons, but the most common causes of gray divorce include empty nest syndrome, age, need for self-improvement, postponed divorces, money or spending habits, retirement, and other general dissatisfactions. Ending a marriage at an advanced age has many complications. They are essential legal issues and financial implications that divorcing couples need to consider, as some can significantly impact the rest of their lives. Below are some of the crucial issues affecting gray divorce.
1. Division of assets and debts
One of the most challenging issues in a divorce is the division of the accumulated assets and debts. In most cases, during a divorce, the court divides the couple’s estate according to state laws. The division of assets and debts during a divorce in Naperville is governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). The Act considers any property or debt acquired in the marriage, before divorce, as part of the marital estate.
All the marital estate, but not separate estate, is equitably subjected to division regardless of marital misconduct. During a fair and equitable division of property in a gray divorce, the court may consider some of the factors such as;
- Length of the marriage
- Income of the couples
- Value of the separate property
- Age and health status of the couples
A gray divorce might enhance retirement plans in several ways. The divorce might force one of the spouses or both to reduce their standard of living or postpone their retirement to save more.
If you are not retired and have not made adequate savings, it might be challenging to save enough to maintain your accustomed standard of living. Even after the division of assets and debts, it might be expensive for one partner to live alone, leading to the early depletion of retirement funds. Therefore, it is essential for divorcing couples to talk to their financial advisors or an attorney about managing their assets and income after a gray divorce.
The cost of health insurance is another important thing to consider for couples divorcing in their middle age. After divorce, each partner will be using his/her health insurance plan, and it is vital to consider selecting the most affordable one.
Those who are above 65 years old and are eligible for Medicare under their spouse’s work record may still qualify for its benefits even after divorce.
4. Dealing with grown-up children
It is more likely that couples going through a gray divorce have grown-up children. Even after divorce, couples are still responsible for taking care of their children. Some children might require financial support for their education, career growth, or capital for their start-ups. Divorcing couples might also consider listing the children as part of the heirs of their estate after death.