As married couples age, they may discover that they are not compatible like they used to be. In this situation, a divorce may be the most suitable option for many of them. However, divorce at an older age — also known as a gray divorce — can come with a unique set of financial complications compared with divorce at a younger age. Here are a couple of tips for navigating a gray divorce in Illinois.
When two people decide to get divorced at an older age, the pension that one of them was depending on to cover his or her expenses during retirement may be divided between both parties. This is because a pension is generally considered to be a marital asset, meaning that it is subject to division. In light of this, the party who retired with the pension may end up having to return to work while in retirement if only half of the pension plus other retirement assets will not be adequate for him or her to live on.
When it comes to annuities, divorcing individuals will want to investigate whether these assets must be divided as part of the property distribution process. An annuity bought before the marriage may not be subject to division. Meanwhile, one bought during the course of the marriage may need to be split, and the splitting process may result in penalties or fees.
How an attorney can help
Navigating the divorce process is typically not easy, and it can be particularly complex for older individuals who have many assets, including high-value assets, that might need to be divided. Fortunately, an experienced family law attorney can help divorcing individuals to figure out the best approach to property division while pursuing a fair and comprehensive settlement with the other party. The attorney’s chief goal will be to protect his or her client’s rights and best interests given the circumstances surrounding the divorce.