Divorce can involve unique issues depending on which stage of life a married couple is in. For example, for an Illinois couple with young children, child custody and child support will undoubtedly be very important.
For married couples who are nearing retirement age and decide to divorce, property division — especially retirement property — is often the focal point of the case.
As we discussed in a recent article, divorce among people over the age of 50 has increased dramatically in recent years for a number of reasons. Couples who are going through divorce later in life need to address a unique set of challenges with a skilled attorney.
Under Illinois law, most property that is earned or acquired during the marriage is considered marital property. This property is then subject to equitable distribution during the divorce process, which means that the property will be divided equitably but not necessarily equally.
One of the trickiest parts of a divorce involving an older couple is figuring out how to divide retirement assets in an equitable manner that will support both spouses as they enter retirement. A couple’s combined retirement assets must support two households instead of one following a divorce.
In fact, USA Today once reported that retirement can cost up to 30 percent more for divorced individuals than it does for married couples.
If one or both of the spouses have health issues, aren’t working outside of the home or need to retire early, this can also complicate the financial situation during the divorce.
For these reasons, it’s extremely important to work with an experienced family law attorney who can provide guidance and advice when going through divorce later in life. Planning ahead can help both spouses to protect their futures.