home services divorce gray divorce

Gray Divorce Attorneys in Chicago

Do You Need to End a Marriage After 20 Years?

Ending a long-term marriage later in life can be challenging and stressful, because of the emotional impact on the family as well as the financial impact on both spouses – in terms of retirement funds, property, investment funds, liquidity, and health insurance.

In recent years, it has become increasingly common for older adults to end long-term marriages. Per the National Center for Family & Marriage, the divorce rate for couples aged 55-64 nearly doubled between 1990 and 2010, and the divorce rate for couples aged 65+ nearly tripled.

Due to the challenges that you face in going through such a divorce, you must have a qualified and trusted Chicago family law attorney on your side. At Nottage and Ward, LLP, we have over 30 years of experience helping families get through these troubled times. We represent clients throughout all of northeastern Illinois, including Lake, Cook, McHenry, and DuPage Counties. Call (312) 332-2915 to set up a consultation today.

Back to Top

What Is Gray Divorce?

Gray divorce” refers to divorces that occur in couples over 50 years old, who have been married for 20 years or more. While this term was rare in the past, over the last 20 years, it has become commonplace.

Back to Top

Why Is a Gray Divorce Different Than a Normal Divorce?

While any divorce includes the division of assets and spousal maintenance, gray divorce has the following aspects that are typically more involved:

  • Finances and Assets: Over 20+ years, a couple tends to accumulate considerable assets, both in terms of real estate and other assets. It is often difficult to decide what would be a fair distribution of said assets – what if one spouse was a “stay at home” and spent years raising the children while the other worked? The equitable division of assets built up over such a long period is a common point of contention.
  • Retirement Plans: Typical spousal retirement plans are designed for continued marriage. When a divorce occurs shortly before or after retirement, this can upend the retirement funds. What was originally designed to provide a living for two people in one home now must support two individuals in separate living spaces. If one spouse was the primary “breadwinner” in the family, the retirement funds might be primarily associated with that spouse. Deciding how to arrange the assets to maintain the quality of life for both parties for the duration of their lives can be a challenging process.
  • Health Insurance: Health insurance in your later years is a crucial subject, and spousal health insurance is often provided by the employer of only one party. Post-retirement divorce can easily create a situation where one party is left without health insurance, and this is a major factor to take into consideration when dividing the assets and finances.
  • Spousal Support: Maintenance (spousal support) is a primary consideration in a gray divorce, especially as the working years remaining are often few or nonexistent. Where divorcing spouses suddenly find themselves in need of financial support, maintenance can make up a large portion of their income. Courts very often consider this for longer marriages.
  • Inheritance: Divorces also tend to affect children and grandchildren. Beyond the emotional impact, any shared financial interests and inheritance issues are often a serious consideration in the ending of a long-term marriage that cannot be overlooked.

Back to Top

What About My “Other” Assets?

Often, one spouse has assets that accumulated prior to the marriage or as a result of a family inheritance. Determining and proving these can be difficult, especially when the assets were obtained over 20 years ago. But here at Nottage and Ward, LLP, we have helped sort out these issues for over 30 years, and we have the experience to get you through with as little trouble as possible.

Back to Top

Contact Our Chicago Gray Divorce Lawyers Today

As one of Chicago’s premier family law firms, Nottage and Ward, LLP, is here to assist you with the care, professionalism, and attention to detail that you deserve. We practice family law exclusively, and as such, we have mastered the art of communication, the tactics of persuasion, and the skills of pre-trial strategy. We balance each client’s immediate emotional needs with a realistic evaluation of their long-term financial requirements.

Reach out to our Chicago gray divorce attorneys today at (312) 332-2915 to get the legal help that you need.

Back to Top

Additional Information

Little Black Pearl The Business of ArtWe are proud sponsors of Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center.

To learn more, click here.

Friends of the Chicago RiverProud Member of Friends of the Chicago River.

To learn more, click here.

Client Reviews

Five Stars5 Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for

Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for in a very complicated, emotional matter. She has continuously looked out for my best interest and the best interest of my son. She is always prompt in getting back to me and in keeping me well informed about my case.

Read More Client Reviews

Avvo Top Contributor Family Law - Jeffrey Knipmeyer
Avvo Top Contributor Divorce Law - Jeffrey Knipmeyer