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What You Need to Know About Divorce After a Long-term Marriage

Posted on in Divorce

Wheaton divorce lawyer spousal supportAlthough the overall divorce rate in the United States has been declining, there is one demographic that is getting divorced more now than ever before. People over age 50 are divorcing at a rate which is double what it was 30 years ago. Some of these divorces involve couples who were married for 10, 20, or even 30+ years. Deciding to get a divorce after a long marriage can be one of the hardest choices a person ever makes. Leaving the comfort of a familiar relationship to find a happier life as a single person can be understandably intimidating. In addition, spouses who divorce after a long marriage must consider issues that other couples may not need to worry about.

Adjusting to the Change May Be Emotionally Strenuous

While any divorce is going to involve a degree of emotional and psychological stress, ending a long marriage can be especially difficult. If you and your spouse have been together for many years, adjusting to life without that person can be painful – even if you are the one who initiated the separation. Experts encourage individuals going through divorce after a long marriage to consider finding additional sources of support. This may include speaking with a counselor, joining a support group, or simply reaching out to friends and family that you trust.   

You or Your Spouse May Be Entitled to Spousal Maintenance

In Illinois, alimony or spousal support is referred to as spousal maintenance. While this type of support is not awarded in every divorce, the chances of spousal maintenance being a concern in your divorce increases if the marriage lasted a long time. Maintenance is most often awarded when a spouse sacrificed their educational or career opportunities for the benefit of the marriage or family. For example, if a mother stayed home to raise the couple’s children for the last 15 years, reentering the workforce is going to be extremely difficult. The court may award the mother rehabilitative maintenance until she can gain the skills or education needed to obtain employment. In some divorce cases, especially those involving a marriage of 20 years or more, permanent spousal maintenance may be awarded.

Retirement Concerns

If you are past age 50 and considering divorce, retirement concerns may be one of your main priorities. Illinois follows a property division method called “equitable distribution,” which means that a marital estate is divided fairly, but not necessarily equally. Any portion of either spouse’s retirement accounts that were contributed to during the marriage will be considered marital property that is subject to division during divorce. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) should be used to transfer funds in retirement accounts between spouses after divorce.

Contact a DuPage County Grey Divorce Lawyer

Getting a divorce after being married for a long time can be overwhelming. Fortunately, you do not have to navigate the divorce process alone. For dependable legal help during your divorce, contact The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. Call our office at 630-462-9500 to schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced Wheaton divorce attorney.

Sources:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/divorcing-after-being-married-for-decades-heres-what-to-do-2016-12-14

https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/2018-09-21/divorcing-after-50-how-gray-divorce-affects-your-health

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/documents/075000050K504.htm

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