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Special concerns during a gray divorce

For those who divorce later in life, the process can be more complicated. This is because a couple might have more assets and property to divide during a gray divorce, which is what it's referred to when both parties are 55 years old and above. Here are some things Illinois residents may want to consider during a gray divorce.

Illinois is among several states that abide by the rules of equitable distribution when it comes to marital property. In equitable distribution states, divorcing couples are not required to split everything equally. Instead, the division of assets and debts must be fair. Items acquired during the course of a marriage are typically considered marital property. This may include stocks, furniture, vehicles, bank accounts, home equity and more.

Even if an inheritance is received by one person during a marriage, it is typically considered separate property. However, complications may arise when spouses are listed as heirs, or the assets from an inheritance are combined with marital assets. It may help to keep records regarding any inheritances.

When one person owes the other individual financial support, the paying party might be required to get a life insurance policy. The life insurance money would take the place of future payments in the event the person paying dies. The owner of the policy designates beneficiaries, so the party who receives the payments may wish to own the policy to ensure being listed as the beneficiary.

Dividing marital assets can be tricky as both parties may have different ideas about what constitutes a fair distribution. In court, a judge typically looks at what both parties brought to the marriage. Not all contributions are monetary as one spouse might focus on taking care of any children a couple shares. To avoid the court process, mediation or negotiation could help a couple agree on a settlement.

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