The Phenomenon of Gray Divorce
While US divorce rates have been going down as a whole, rates continue to climb among those over 50. Experts suggest that changing social norms, coupled with longer life spans, have made older adults more willing to divorce when a marriage is no longer satisfying, even later in life. Additionally, many couples that got married young and quickly began raising children come to realize that they have little in common with their spouse once their children leave the nest.
If you’re considering divorce in your older age, keep the following in mind:
You might not want to keep the house
It can be challenging to move out of a home that you’ve spent years making your own, but keeping the house in a late-in-life divorce can be a mistake. Electing to keep such a large asset could result in you passing on other assets that would be more helpful to you, such as a larger share of investment or retirement accounts. Additionally, don’t forget how challenging it can be to maintain a home in your older age, especially if you’ll be living there alone and the house itself is getting older. Also keep in mind that the timing of your divorce can have an impact on the tax implications you and your spouse face when you’re selling a large asset like a home that has substantially appreciated.
Speak with a financial planner about how your retirement timeline may be affected by a divorce
Living alone, and retiring alone, typically costs more than simply half of what you planned to spend when retiring as a couple. You may need to remain in the workforce slightly longer than you had originally planned. A financial planner can help you assess where you should plan to cut expenses.
Don’t forget the impact your divorce will have on your children
Even if the kids you share with your spouse have grown, the ending of a marriage they’ve known to exist their entire lives can be traumatic. Be sensitive to the emotional effects your divorce will have on them, and keep in mind that sharing the details of your divorce with your adult children could be very painful for them. Find a friend or therapist for these sorts of conversations, instead.
If you’re considering divorce in Illinois, contact the seasoned and compassionate Chicagoland family law attorneys at Johnson, Westra, Broecker, Whittaker & Newitt for a consultation, at 630-665-9600, with offices in Carol Stream, St. Charles, and Chicago.