Reeder & Brown, P.C.



Lawyers in Joliet Helping Clients Over 50 Protect Their Best Interests in a Gray Divorce

A divorce can be challenging for a person of any age. For a person who is nearing retirement or has already retired, a divorce can be completely overwhelming. At Reeder & Brown, P.C., our experienced family law attorneys are sensitive to the needs of older individuals as they approach the divorce process. We provide trusted guidance and aggressive representation to those going through what has become known as "gray divorce."

Understanding the Rise of Gray Divorce

The term "gray divorce" generally refers to a divorce between spouses who are age 50 or older. According to a number of reputable sources, including the Pew Research Center, the gray divorce rate has more than doubled in the United States since 1990. Today, about a quarter of all divorce cases are gray divorces, and the reasons are not terribly surprising. As divorce has become more socially acceptable, along with longer life expectancy compared to previous generations, increasing numbers of older individuals have started to realize that they do not need to be stuck in unhappy, unhealthy marriages.

At Reeder & Brown, P.C., we know that a large number of gray divorces involve spouses who have been together for many years. In some cases, one or both spouses may have never experienced life as a single adult. As a result, the prospect of divorce can be extremely scary. Our lawyers have more than 30 years of combined experience, and we have successfully helped many clients get divorced as they approached retirement age. If you are over age 50 and are considering a divorce, our team is ready to help you navigate the challenges.

Unique Considerations in a Divorce Near Retirement

When a couple over age 50 gets divorced, they will need to address a variety of concerns, including but not limited to:

  • Dividing marital property: Younger couples tend to worry about who will get the house or car, while older couples are often concerned about having enough money for retirement. Getting divorced as an older person means that you will have less time after the divorce to put aside resources for the future. This makes the property division process especially important.
  • Retirement savings: If you are planning to get a divorce and you are nearing retirement, you are probably concerned about how retirement accounts will be dealt with during divorce. IRAs, 401(k)s, and pension benefits are subject to the rules of equitable distribution just as other marital assets are, but there are details that can make dividing retirement assets more complicated. When dividing these assets, you will usually need to use a Qualified Domestic Relations Order, which will help you avoid taxes or other penalties, and you can ensure that funds in an account or pension benefits will be properly allocated between spouses.
  • Social Security: If your marriage lasted 10 years or more, you may be eligible for Social Security benefits based on the earnings of your former spouse. Your eligibility, however, does not start until you have been divorced for two years. Therefore, it is important to work with an attorney who understands Social Security eligibility so that you can plan for the future.
  • Maintenance: When an older individual gets divorced, he or she may not have many opportunities to develop new skills, pursue educational goals, or start a new career, especially if that person did not work outside the home during the marriage. As a result, spousal support or maintenance is often a major consideration during a gray divorce.

You should also be aware of how eligibility for health insurance coverage and other benefit programs will be affected by your divorce. Our lawyers will work closely with you in analyzing your situation and developing a strategy for getting you the resources you need to move forward. At Reeder & Brown, P.C., our goal is to ensure that you have what you need to begin writing the next chapter of your life.

Contact Our Joliet Gray Divorce Lawyers

To learn more about our firm and our approach to divorce near retirement, contact our office at 815-885-5980 to arrange a free, confidential consultation with a member of our team today. Our attorneys serve clients in Will County, Joliet, Aurora, Plainfield, Mokena, Bolingbrook, Crest Hill, Naperville, Homer Glen, Romeoville, New Lenox, Lockport, and the surrounding communities.

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