location 166 W. Washington St., Ste. 400, Chicago, IL 60602
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George Skuros
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phone 312-884-1222

Cook County Divorce Attorney for Older Couples

Chicago divorce over 50 attorney

Lawyer for Retirement, Insurance, and Maintenance Concerns in Divorces in Chicago, IL

Getting divorced can be hard at any age, but couples who divorce later in life face a unique set of personal and financial challenges. Ending a marriage that has lasted for decades is bound to be emotional, and it can feel like starting over at a time when you are unprepared to do so, especially if you are only a few years away from your expected retirement. However, despite these challenges, the rate of divorce among people over 50 years old has risen significantly in recent years.

If you have decided to move forward with a so-called "gray divorce," you should be sure that you are represented by a knowledgeable attorney who understands the unique aspects of your situation. At The Law Office of George J. Skuros, we have decades of experience representing divorce clients of all ages, and we can help you address all of your concerns so that you can end your marriage and enjoy the rest of your life.

Unique Challenges for Older Couples in a Divorce

On the surface, the issues that must be addressed in a divorce between older spouses are the same as in any other divorce, with the possible exception of child support and the allocation of parental responsibilities for couples whose children are already grown. However, issues related to property and finances tend to affect older couples differently because of their stage in life when the divorce occurs.

Some of the most significant challenges for older couples in a divorce include:

  • Division of substantial assets - Couples who have been married for many years have often amassed a large amount of marital property, making for a complicated division of assets. Deciding what to do with the marital home can be especially difficult, and in many cases, there will be other real estate properties and businesses to consider as well.
  • Retirement accounts - 401(k)s, IRAs, and pensions with contributions made during the marriage are also considered marital assets, and dividing them can force couples to delay retirement or adjust their retirement plans. Using a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) can help you divide an account while avoiding tax penalties and losses as much as possible.
  • Spousal maintenance - Maintenance is never guaranteed in an Illinois divorce, but it is often warranted for older couples when a spouse has limited earning potential due to health problems or a lifetime of being a homemaker without regular employment. The duration of spousal maintenance is typically calculated based on the length of the marriage, and after a marriage of 20 years or longer, it can be awarded indefinitely. However, maintenance terminates when the paying spouse dies, so it may be important to secure future payments with a life insurance policy.
  • Health insurance and other benefits - If you have relied on your spouse for health insurance coverage throughout your marriage, you will likely need to pursue other options, such as spousal continuation, especially if you have significant healthcare needs. It may also be important to understand your eligibility for Medicare, Social Security, and other benefits through your spouse even after the divorce.
  • Estate planning - An up-to-date estate plan becomes especially important in your older years, and after a divorce, you may need to make substantial changes. For example, if your spouse was named as a primary beneficiary or executor of your will, or if they have been granted authority to make decisions on your behalf in a power of attorney for property or health care, you may wish to replace them with your child or another trusted person.

Contact a Schaumburg Gray Divorce Lawyer

We will help you ensure that all important details are addressed when you get a divorce in your older years. For a free consultation, contact us today at 312-884-1222. We represent clients in Schaumburg, Arlington Heights, Inverness, Mount Prospect, Des Plaines, Park Ridge, the North Shore, and throughout the Chicago area, Cook County, and surrounding areas.

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