Divorce is a complex topic, and while every Illinois couple faces a unique set of challenges when getting divorced, those who get divorced after age 55 tend to share a common set of issues. Colloquially known as “gray divorce,” divorces that happen later in life may not deal with some of the more challenging issues related to children but often present more difficult problems related to finances. Even if divorcing spouses are exiting the relationship on good terms, decades of financial entanglement often make gray divorce a complex process that requires the help of attorneys and financial experts. If you are considering a gray divorce in Illinois, here are some challenges you may want to anticipate.
Permanent or Indefinite Spousal Maintenance
After a couple has been married for 20 years or more, a court may award permanent alimony payments, especially if one spouse gave up significant career or educational opportunities to raise children and run a household. Spousal maintenance payments must be supported by a life insurance policy that lists the recipient as a beneficiary in case the paying spouse passes away first.
Wills, Trusts, and Other Inheritance
Older couples have often already established financial instruments to pass funds, heirlooms, and real estate on to their children or other beneficiaries. They may also have inherited such items from their own parents. Distinguishing what is marital and non-marital after a long life together can prove very challenging. Professionals like accountants who can help determine how much of a property or bank account is marital property may be necessary to ensure a fair property division....