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

Vernon Hills Illinois Family Law Blog

The growing trend of divorce among older adults

Older adults in Illinois may be more likely to divorce than the same age group was in 1990, and the risk may be even higher if the marriage is not the first or if it has not lasted very long. Compared to that year, the nationwide divorce rate for people who are 50 or older is now twice as high, and it is three times as high for those who are at least 65 years of age.

Researchers have wondered if life transitions at this stage, such as retiring or children leaving home, may contribute stress to marriages and lead to divorce, but studies refute this. In fact, there appears to be no correlation between these life events and divorce at an older age. For older adults, the main impetus seems to be unhappiness with the marriage just as it is for other age groups.

Homeownership and property division during a divorce

People who divorce in Illinois may wonder about the financial effects of the end of their marriage, especially women. One study found that women who divorce see their income go down by over 20 percent, even while divorced men's income tends to rise by around 33 percent. However, another study from the Center for Retirement Research indicates that some divorced women may fare better than never-married single women if they are homeowners after the split.

Divorced women often fare better than never-married single women in terms of assets saved for retirement. There are a number of reasons for this, including access to shared resources during the period of a marriage while single women need to rely on themselves alone to accumulate assets or obtain a mortgage. One of the most significant factors, according to the study, was if a divorced woman was a homeowner. Some experts urged caution in interpreting the results of the study. Divorce lawyers cited cases in which women fought to walk away from the marriage with the home but did not have sufficient income or resources to refinance the mortgage, pay the bills and taxes or keep up the property. These women wound up in a worse financial position due to their insistence on keeping the marital home.

Divorces affected by changes to tax laws

When people in Illinois think about divorce, they may not consider the tax implications. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed into law in December 2017, has several significant effects on how taxes are handled for divorced people. One of the most important changes concerns the taxation of spousal support payments. Currently, and for the past 80 years, the person who pays alimony to a former spouse is able to deduct the amount from his or her annual tax return. The recipient, on the other hand, pays taxes on the income in his or her tax bracket.

This tax system has been beneficial to both sides, especially when wealthy couples with high-asset divorces are involved. The tax benefit of the deduction can be significant for a payer in a high tax bracket. On the other hand, the recipient receives larger payments and is also able to invest that money in IRAs and other accounts designed to receive taxable income. Because of this mutual benefit, a number of divorce negotiations have concluded successfully. However, as 2019 dawns, this system will be reversed.

What pregnant divorcing mothers should know

Future mothers that become pregnant during divorce proceedings have a lot to think about. On top of dealing with all of the stress that comes from separating from their spouses, now they have to worry about taking care of a child without a partner in a couple of months. The unborn baby also makes dividing assets much more complicated.

If you find yourself in these circumstances, it is important that you know what the laws of Illinois state about divorces during pregnancy and how mothers should approach the proceedings.

Dividing 401(k) plans and pensions during a divorce

Illinois couples who decide to get a divorce later in life may find that their priorities are different than couples who are going through a divorce at a younger age. In many cases, the children have already grown up, meaning that former couples will not have to make decisions about child custody and child support. On the other hand, they'll have to determine how retirement plans and other assets will be dealt with.

A gray divorce occurs between former couples who are 50 years or older. In many cases, those who decide to have a gray divorce are often on the cusp of retirement, meaning any mistakes could have a major impact on a person's ability to afford housing, food and other daily expenses.

How tax law changes affect divorce

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is having a major impact on how divorcing couples handle property settlements, particularly when it comes to alimony and spousal support. The effects are particularly significant for wealthy couples with high-asset divorces, as the tax effects are multiplied in higher income brackets. The changes will go into effect with the dawning of the new year in 2019, and many wealthy couples are moving quickly in order to finalize their divorces under the existing rules, which will remain in place until December 31, 2018. As long as a divorce is finalized before the end of the year, the former spouses will continue to retain their current tax treatment.

Under current tax law, people who pay alimony can deduct the amount from their tax bill. For people with significant income, they can achieve major savings on their annual tax burden. At the same time, the recipient will pay taxes on the amount in their own tax bracket, which is usually lower. The result of this system has been an increase in the amount of spousal support payments.

Money problems can lead to divorce

Money problems are one of the many reasons why an Illinois couple may decide to get a divorce. Having a marriage full of financial issues can be extremely taxing to the point where constant arguments and bad feelings can ultimately lead to the end of a marriage. However, there are some solutions that can help get a marriage back on track.

When couples do not communicate about money, the marriage can become strained. In fact, many divorces end over a lack of communication. This is especially true if just one spouse becomes responsible for handling the bills and the budget. The other partner may have no clue how the household is run or how much in savings the family has. This can be problematic if a person suddenly has to take over these money duties. Couples should schedule times where they can sit down and actually go over the budget.

Can you share your "best friend" with a former spouse?

For most people, the family pet is their best friend, and some even treat their pet as a child. It is evident that pets play a significant role in the family home, but it’s challenging to redefine their role during divorce proceedings.

So how do we handle pets during divorce?

Negotiating a parenting plan

When parents in Illinois divorce, both spouses are usually committed to maintaining a strong relationship with their children. This is why discussions about custody and parenting time can often trigger conflict in what might otherwise be an amicable divorce.

A custody battle can intensify the stress and unhappiness that accompanies a divorce. To avoid or at least minimize tensions, parents should be willing to work together to develop a custody arrangement and visitation schedule that works for everyone.

Why gray divorces are on the rise

In Illinois and across the country, an increasing number of Americans over the age of 50 are considering divorce. While the divorce rate for people of all ages has stabilized or even dropped since the mid-1990s, the opposite has been the case for people over 50. Unlike other demographic groups, Americans over 50 have doubled their rate of divorce since the 1990s, and approximately one-fourth of all divorces take place within the Baby Boomer generation.

The term "gray divorce" is used to describe the end of a marriage after the age of 50. It can apply equally to people who choose to divorce after decades of partnership and shared children or to people with shorter second or third marriages later in life. There are a number of reasons why the number and the rate of divorces later in life are on the rise. First, there are many more Americans over age 50 than there were in the past. In addition, life expectancy and health have continued to increase. Both men and women's average life expectancy has increased approximately 10 years in the period between 1950 and 2016.

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