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DuPage County gray divorce attorneyWhile the major story with regards to divorce statistics in recent years is the fact that in most age segments, especially the Millennial Generation, divorce rates are on the decline (which should not be that much of a surprise given that marriage rates are also on the decline for this age group). But possibly an even more interesting and multifaceted development is the huge spike in gray divorces, or divorces for those over the age of 50, many of which can be very complex divorces due to the large variety and amounts of assets, properties, and debts amassed through the years. Here are some of the reasons for the increase in gray divorces.

5 Primary Reasons for the Increase in Gray Divorces

Over the last two decades, there have been twice as many gray divorces as there were in the past. This doubling of gray divorce rates suggests a trend. Here are some of the most common reasons that so many people over the age of 50 are getting divorced:

  1. Less Stigma—These older generations have seen a dramatic shift in the way divorce is viewed by both society and religious organizations. Whereas in prior decades, divorce might have branded you as an outcast or someone who did not have the fortitude or fidelity to “make it work” in regards to your marriage. These days, you will probably hear someone say, “Good for them,” upon hearing of a couple’s divorce. That is because overall, everyone is much more accepting of divorce, especially due to the many negative consequences of failing marriages.

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DuPage County divorce attorney child custodyWith the average divorce rates in the nation for first-time marriages hovering near 40 percent and many states’ overall divorce rates approaching 20 percent, it is difficult to believe that some states like Illinois have consistently reported single-digit divorce rates. For 2018 alone, the U.S. Census reported that Illinois had a divorce rate of less than 7 percent. So why does Illinois have one of the top five lowest divorce rates in the nation? The answer might surprise you.

6 Reasons Illinois Has Low Divorce Rates

As with most complicated cases of this kind, there is not one single definitive cause; the reasons behind the low divorce rates in Illinois are complex and numerous. Among the most notable bases for these low divorce rates are:

  1. Safer Environments—Relative to other states in the nation, Illinois is actually quite safe. Most statistics suggest a strong correlation between a lack of safety and divorce. If you are not fearful of your safety every day, you will probably be more content to stay married.

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DuPage County divorce attorney spousal supportIf you have kids from a prior marriage, then you know that the divorce proceedings are hardly the last time you will hear from your former spouse. There are all sorts of things that you two must continue to work through, especially if your children are under the age of 18, including child supportparenting timeparental responsibilitiesspousal support, and much more. But how will this change if you decide to remarry? Will your new spouse be responsible for any of the parental responsibilities or child support? How will spousal support change? While at one time there was a clear-cut answer to all of these questions, in recent years, there is much more gray area when making some of these determinations in Illinois. The following is a look at how remarriage can change things after your divorce.

Remarriage and Its Impact on Divorce Obligations

With regards to spousal maintenance, the following is true in Illinois:

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DuPage County divorce attorney child custodyMoving forward with a divorce is not always the most obvious or easiest decision to make. For instance, after careful deliberation, you might find that the most convincing reason to stay together is “for the sake of the kids.” Statistics have shown that in many cases, remaining married can do more harm than good, especially if you are in a loveless or volatile marriage. However, you and your spouse may not feel strongly enough about your marital problems to go through with a divorce right now. If that is the case, you might want to consider the timing of your divorce with respect to your children’s ages and their development.

Coping at Different Ages

The truth is, there is probably never a “good time” for your children to deal with divorce. Very few if any children come out of divorce entirely unscathed. It can take its toll, and depending on the children’s ages, among other things, it might be more damaging at certain stages of their lives. Here are some observations about how kids tend to cope with divorce at different ages:

  • Babies—While babies cannot comprehend divorce, they can sense when there is conflict in the home between their parents. This can lead to irritability, clinginess, and some delays in development.

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DuPage County virtual divorce attorneyCourtrooms across the nation, including in parts of Illinois, have begun improvising over the last few months as a result of Stay-at-Home orders. For instance, Bankruptcy Courts in the Northern District of Illinois are conducting most hearings through Zoom video conferences or telephone calls. Divorce is no different—more and more courtrooms are conducting “virtual divorce proceedings.” But what are the benefits and drawbacks of this new trend, and will it have staying power in divorce and family law? Maybe, maybe not; but it is worth considering as an option depending on a couple’s situation.

Pros of Virtual Divorces

Many people undergoing divorces have found that they actually appreciate virtual divorces for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Convenience—The convenience of virtual divorces means they can do it anywhere they are comfortable, such as in their home. This allows them to focus on the divorce itself instead of being worried about all the tangential aspects of the experience. For example, they do not have to stress themselves out about the hustle-and-bustle of driving or parking downtown, or making their way through unfamiliar territory, be it different cities or intimidating courtrooms.

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