Over the last 25 years or so, divorce rates have more than doubled for those aged 50 and over. Thought to be due, at least in part, to an increase in life expectancy, these later-life divorces have some unique considerations and risks. So, if you or someone you know is planning on filing for what the media is calling a “gray divorce,” it is important to know how to best protect oneself and financial future.
Understanding the Risks of Gray Divorce
While all divorces are considered financially, mentally, and emotionally complex, those that occur later in life carry some serious financial risks, namely a situation known as divorce-induced poverty. This is a risk of particular concern for those who have already retired or have been out of the workforce for a long period of time. In addition, women, who typically live longer than men, may experience long-lasting poverty if they do not take proper precautions during their divorce.
Preparing Your Finances
In Illinois, marital property goes into what is known as the marital estate. This includes assets like your home, bank accounts, retirement accounts, vacation homes, vehicles, and more. These items are then valued and distributed equitably among the divorcing parties. Of course, before this can happen, you will need to know what it is that you and your spouse own. For those kept in the dark about their finances, this can seem like an insurmountable task. Furthermore, there is always the risk of disappearing assets. Rest assured: your attorney can help with the process. For now, simply gather all of the financial information you can find....