Even as overall divorce rates decline in the United States, “gray divorce” is growing more common in Illinois and across the country. For Americans aged 50 and up, the divorce rate has more than doubled in the 20 years between 1990 and 2010, a trend that shows no sign of stopping. There are a number of reasons why more older Americans are choosing to end their marriages, but there are also some specific concerns that can accompany this type of separation. Because a divorce tends to have a major financial impact on both parties, people considering a divorce later in life may want to consider their retirement plans.
One contributing factor to the rising popularity of divorce among older adults is increased health and lifespan. People are living longer lives and remaining healthy longer, and they want to live out their lives happily. In addition, some parents stay together in order to raise their children in the same home. After their children are adults and out of the home, they may finally make the decision to divorce. Social responses to divorce have also changed dramatically in recent decades; ending a marriage has become much more widely acceptable and common than in the past.
At the same time, some people considering a gray divorce may also want to pay more attention to their financial plans. Both spouses will need to fund single retirements, which can be much more expensive than one joint lifestyle. However, older Americans divorcing today are also more likely to live two-career lifestyles and work longer before retiring.
Divorce at any age carries with it legal and financial concerns as well as emotional changes. A family law attorney may work with a divorcing spouse to negotiate a fair settlement on a range of legal matters, including spousal support and property division.