Tag Archives: spousal support

What Should Spouses Over the Age of 50 Expect During Divorce?

DuPage County grey divorce lawyerWhile getting a divorce at any age can be one of the most challenging life changes you will ever face, when you decide to get a divorce at age 50 or older, the situation can be even more complicated and difficult. How will your older sons and daughters react? What will happen with your retirement accounts? What about health insurance? How will you be able to start over at such an older age? There are many issues to consider, and that is the main reason finding an experienced divorce attorney is critical to your success.

Distinct Differences When Divorcing After 50

While many of the usual issues considered during divorce are also relevant to a divorce late in life, there are some actions that need to be approached differently or with extra caution when you are 50 or older. Major differences to take into account when divorcing after 50 include:

  • Development of an Asset Inventory: In many cases, only one spouse will have a comprehensive understanding of the marital assets possessed by a married couple. For the fairest results during a divorce, both sides must have an in-depth knowledge of their assets. After all, by 50, you and your spouse have probably been accumulating property for many years. This includes life insurance policies, retirement accounts, and the house.

  • Understanding of the Retirement Accounts: As you approach retirement age, you are going to want to have all your finances sorted out in such a way that your golden years remain golden. While you will not have the retirement you planned with your spouse, and you might not get everything you were expecting during retirement after the divorce, there are ways to fairly divide the assets in retirement accounts. When dividing these assets, a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) should be used to avoid any penalties or taxes that would come with withdrawal of funds before reaching retirement age.

  • Ensuring Health Insurance Coverage: At your age, having good health is particularly important, so you will need to make sure you have coverage. If you are not yet qualified for Medicare, your options may be limited to using COBRA to stay on your spouse’s insurance until you find other solutions, insurance through your current employer (if you have one), or insurance through the Healthcare Marketplace. If you would prefer to stay on your spouse’s insurance indefinitely, a legal separation might be a preferable option instead of divorce.

  • Attainment or Maintenance of a Life Insurance Policy: You and your spouse are both not getting any younger. It is just as important—if not more important—to get life insurance policies figured out upon divorce as it is while married, especially if one spouse will be paying spousal maintenance or child support. While term life insurance is not taken into account during divorce, permanent life insurance is counted as a marital asset and must be dealt with as such. In particular, if you or your spouse do not already have a permanent life insurance policy, you or your spouse might want to ask for one in divorce to protect the rights to alimony, child support, and retirement/pension benefits if a spouse dies. If either spouse already has a permanent life insurance policy with the other spouse as the beneficiary, you are free to change the beneficiary of the policy, unless ordered otherwise by the judge in your case.

  • Deciding What to Do With the House: If you are not an empty-nester yet, you may want to continue living in your marital home after your divorce. However, you will need to be prepared for the day when your children leave the home. If you have no children at home, you may want to consider what you will end up doing with the house. Upkeep at your age can be both taxing and expensive, and if your house is not paid off, you may struggle with mortgage payments, property taxes, and other expenses.

  • Be Prepared for the Job Market If Necessary: As you approach retirement, getting a job can become much more difficult. If being divorced will put you in a financial position that will require you to get back onto the job market, do not be surprised to hear that you are “overqualified” or other rejections that might be related to your age. Conversely, if you feel at a disadvantage due to your lack of training or education, you may want to ask for your spouse to contribute toward your professional development. If your spouse agrees to spousal support that will help pay for your tuition at a local school, for instance, then you will be able to receive the necessary training to start a new job. This will make it much easier for you to manage the finances for yourself without your spouse.

Contact a Wheaton Grey Divorce Attorney

As you can see, there are many unique challenges facing people who wish to get divorced after the age of 50; however, you do not have to face this difficult decision on your own. Our DuPage County divorce lawyers can help you every step of the way, no matter how complicated your divorce gets due to the late stage in your life. For a free consultation, reach out to us at 630-871-1002.






Are There Different Types of Spousal Support in an Illinois Divorce?

DuPage County spousal maintenance attorneyFinancial issues often play a major factor throughout a marriage, and they can even cause a couple to divorce. In some cases, a couple may get used to a certain lifestyle during the marriage. Whether one spouse earned a substantially higher income, or the other spouse stayed home to raise children, a divorce can significantly impact their situations moving forward. When going through a divorce, spouses may wonder about the aftermath and how they can move on. Some of the typical fears are: “Can I afford to stay in the house?” or “How will I be able to pay bills?” Under Illinois law, one partner may be able to seek spousal maintenance once the marriage ends. A court will consider several factors when determining whether to award maintenance and what kind of payments are necessary.

Spousal Maintenance Payments

Illinois courts will look at different issues to determine if spousal maintenance (which is often referred to as alimony or spousal support) is warranted. These factors can include the income level of both spouses, their health and ages, and how long the marriage lasted. Support is based on need, and both women and men are eligible to receive payments. The following are three types of spousal maintenance payment options:

  • Permanent or Indefinite Maintenance: For marriages which lasted at least 20 years, Illinois allows for the payment of maintenance until one of the parties dies. However, payments can be terminated if the receiving spouse remarries or if the paying spouse retires.

  • Maintenance in Gross: This type of maintenance payment could be made in one lump sum or a designated number of installments. Although not as common, it is sometimes used to gain certain tax advantages.

  • Rehabilitative Maintenance: Also known as “reviewable maintenance” or “periodic maintenance,” this type of support may be paid for a short, fixed period of time or an indefinite amount of time. A case may be reviewed periodically to determine whether continued maintenance payments are necessary.

The purpose of spousal maintenance is not to punish or reward spouses but to allow a person to maintain their lifestyle after the end of their marriage. This kind of financial assistance is intended for lower-earning spouses, and it can help them make the transition to single life and give them time to get back on their feet and become self-supporting.

Every divorce is unique, and in some cases, the spouses can settle the terms of maintenance on their own. However, if a couple cannot come to an agreement on spousal support, they will have to resolve the issue through litigation in court, and a judge will decide whether to award maintenance. In either case, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side to ensure that all applicable factors are taken into account and that maintenance is determined correctly.

Contact a Wheaton Divorce Attorney

Going from being a married spouse to a single person can be a difficult transition. Not only do you have to deal with the emotional toll a divorce takes, but you may have to relocate and get a job to make ends meet. If you are worried about how to move on financially after the end of your marriage, you may be entitled to spousal support. Our skilled DuPage County spousal maintenance lawyers will help you determine your eligibility for maintenance and advocate for you to receive the support you need. Call the Andrew Cores Family Law Group today at 630-871-1002 to schedule your free consultation.





How Can a Spousal Support Order Be Modified in Illinois?

DuPage County spousal support modification lawyerAlthough divorce is a fairly common occurrence these days, every couple’s situation is unique. In some cases, spousal support/maintenance may be awarded to one spouse. Under Illinois law, the court considers various factors when determining whether to award maintenance (also known as alimony), and the law provides guidelines for calculating the amount and duration of support payments. Orders can be modified, however, if a substantial change warrants it. To request a modification of the support amount or to ask that the payments be terminated, the individual seeking the modification must file a petition with the court where the order was originally issued.

Reasons for Modification

Family situations can change due to extenuating circumstances. According to Illinois law, there are several events that constitute an automatic spousal support order modification, including:

  • Remarriage

  • Cohabitation

  • Death

If one of the ex-spouses remarries, and his or her new partner has a job, then spousal maintenance is likely not needed anymore. These considerations may also apply if the ex is now living in the same household with a new love interest, even if the new couple has not gotten married. In the event one of the ex-spouses dies, then spousal support automatically stops. It is important to note that any maintenance payments made after one of the above events took place must be repaid to the paying party by the receiving party.

Once a motion is filed to modify an existing spousal support order, the court will hear arguments from both parties. A judge will consider the following factors in order to determine if a modification of the maintenance order is justified:

  • Change in employment status of either party (job layoff or loss)

  • Efforts of the recipient to become self-supporting (payments may be lowered if he or she is not actively looking for work)

  • A change in the earning capacity of either party

  • Tax consequences of the payments for each party

  • Duration of the maintenance payments previously paid (and still to be paid) based on how long the marriage lasted

  • Property awarded to each party in the divorce (sometimes used to reduce the amount of maintenance one spouse will receive)

  • Increase or decrease in each party’s income since the original order

  • Property acquired and currently owned by each party after the divorce

  • Any other factors the court finds equitable

It is important to note that only maintenance payments expected or due after the date of the motion to modify support may be changed, even if some payments were made after the change in circumstances occurred. This differs from the scenarios in which maintenance ceases automatically.

Contact a DuPage County Spousal Maintenance Attorney

A person’s life circumstances can change in an instant. For instance, a job loss can have a significant financial impact. This is especially true if you are a single person who recently went through a divorce. The Andrew Cores Family Law Group understands how to address changes in circumstances that may warrant modifications of existing divorce orders, and we can help you reach an outcome to your case that protects your financial security. Our seasoned Wheaton, IL divorce modification lawyers are prepared to provide you with the representation you need. Call our office today at 630-871-1002 to schedule a free consultation.