${site.data.firmName}${SEMFirmNameAlt} Illinois Family Law And Litigation Attorney & Counselor At Law
Legal Representation With Personal Advocacy

Vernon Hills Illinois Family Law Blog

The financial effects of "gray divorce"

A growing number of people in Illinois are choosing to divorce later in life. In the past, older Americans tended to stay together, especially if they were already part of a long marriage. Divorce was less socially acceptable, and people often had fewer expectations of health and lively activity in their retirement years. However, since 1990, the rate of divorce for people aged 65 and older has more than doubled. This trend shows no sign of stopping and has continued even as the divorce rate for younger Americans has actually decreased. There is a number of reasons why "gray divorce" is on the rise, but there are also specific financial concerns that can accompany when middle-aged and senior Americans divorce.

In almost all cases, these concerns are more significant when the divorce involves a long marriage. Property division, alimony and other major financial costs associated with divorce are far more significant when the assets involved have accumulated over decades. When people end shorter marriages, often second or later marriages, the financial effects may be less significant. In some gray divorces, however, one spouse has stayed home and raised children for years. The other spouse may be responsible for a significant amount of alimony to be paid over many years in these cases.

Research shows that women initiate the majority of divorces

When divorces happen in Illinois and around the country, chances are high that the female spouses started the process. One study concluded that wives initiated 80% of divorces. Another study that tracked 355 couples over a 16-year period collected information from both male and female spouses. Although men often had escalating anxiety about their relationships, they did not take action to dissolve their marriages nearly as often as women. The results of that study showed that the wives pursued divorce at twice the rate of husbands.

A third study from the American Sociological Association confirmed the findings of other studies. The data showed that 69% of the divorces resulted from female decisions. Among college-educated women, wives initiated their divorces close to 90% of the time.

Losing your job during your divorce: what you should know

It has been a trying time beginning your divorce proceedings. On top of everything else you have going on, your boss unexpectedly lets you go. Your unemployment now adds additional worry to an already stressful time.

You may be wondering how this will affect your divorce. Here are a few things to bear in mind:

Getting the marital home in a divorce

When a divorce occurs, a couple might decide to sell a house and split any profits. However, there are also reasons a person in Illinois may wish to keep a home. One could feel attached to the property, or one could wish to live in the home with children.

Before seeking sole ownership, a couple might discuss deferring the sale of a property. This could allow any kids to keep living in the house and prevent disruptions in their lives. This may be an option if the party with primary custody does not have the means to buy the home outright.

How retirement plans can be impacted by divorce

Divorce can be hard on Illinois residents and others throughout the country. However, it may also be a source of happiness for some who have chosen to end their marriage. According to a representative from the American College of Financial Services, women between the ages of 60 to 65 tend to enjoy the fact that they are not married. Regardless of how a person feels after ending a marriage, it can have a financial impact that needs to be accounted for.

For instance, it may be necessary to divide an IRA or a 401(k) as part of a divorce settlement. Pensions may also be divided in a divorce, but there are certain protocols that must be followed to do so. Qualified accounts such as a pension or a 401(k) must generally be split per the terms of a qualified domestic relations order.

Co-parenting benefits adults and children after divorce

Shared custody that grants both parents time to raise their children after a divorce has the potential to produce many psychological and emotional benefits. Parents going through the process of divorce in Illinois will need to work out a custody agreement and co-parenting plan. Although coming to terms might be difficult for splitting spouses, the benefits to the family after the divorce are worth the effort.

Children naturally feel upset when their parents split up. A co-parenting plan that allows the children to divide time between parental households helps to overcome fear and insecurity. As children learn that both parents have remained engaged and present in their lives, their sense of security returns. The sustained bond with both parents enabled by co-parenting could also promote prosocial behavior in children as they mature. Children lacking a bond with one parent face a greater risk of negative behavior.

Parents likely to get more child support in some states

Child support is often a major part of a divorced parent's income. Although losing the second salary in the home after divorce might make it challenging to juggle all of the expenses a couple was able to manage, child support helps ensure the children have what they need. The amount of child support that is awarded to a parent varies by location. Custodial parents in Illinois may have to budget more income for their children's expenses than those in Nevada or Washington.

Women have been in the workforce for decades but some states still don't include the mother's income when they compute the amount a father has to pay in child support. In states where this is the rule, fathers pay about $100 more per month on average. The others states consider the income of both parents but many don't align with the cost of living in the region.

How job loss may affect divorce negotiations

The already complex process of divorce can be further complicated for people in Illinois if one of them loses a job. This can have implications for child and spousal support payments whether it is the lower- or the higher-earning spouse who loses a job.

In the former case, the higher-earning spouse might need to pay more in support until the lower-earning spouse finds a new job. In the latter case, the support-paying spouse may be permitted to pay less until they find a new job. However, there are a few caveats around this. If the person loses the job because of misconduct, the court may be less sympathetic. It might also raise suspicion if the support-paying spouse is laid off from a job with a family or friend's business since this could actually be an effort to avoid paying more in support. Another consideration may be whether or not there is a severance package.

How a divorced parent should request a relocation

Separating from a spouse may be a stressful process, but it does open up numerous opportunities for you. You no longer have to worry about living in the same house as your ex or organizing your entire schedule around them. You can get a new job that they may have held you back from acquiring in the first place. You don’t even have to live in the same state as them anymore if you want.

However, those opportunities become slightly complicated if there is a child involved. Illinois requires parents that are moving more than 25 miles from their current residence with their child to acquire the other parent’s approval in doing so. However, the other spouse could use this as an opportunity to acquire more custody time and try to convince the court to keep the child in the state. It is important to know how this process works and what advantages you may need if you want you and your kid to move out of the state.

Divorce can affect children's higher education plans

For many Illinois families, divorce brings about a wide range of changes, including emotional, social and behavioral changes. However, one change that might not be so obvious during the process, is how divorce will affect the children's higher education plans. A study has found that for white children in particular, divorce is factor in whether they attend college or not.

According to the study published in Sociological Science, after divorce, income can decrease and there might be financial instability. For white children, who tend to be part of more financially well-off families, the decrease in income might deter them from going to college. The study found that the impact on non-white children was not as significant. However, divorce can bring similar financial challenges to all families, so all parents need to be aware of this negative effect on higher education plans and to consider that during the divorce process.

Email Us For A Response

Gauthier Family Law

Gauthier Family Law
945 Lakeview Parkway, Suite 170
Vernon Hills, IL 60061

Phone: 847-816-7781
Fax: 847-557-4090
Vernon Hills Law Office Map