In Illinois and across the country, more people are choosing to divorce later in life. In the past 20 years, the rate of divorce for people older than 50 has more than doubled. This change has come even as divorce rates in other demographics, especially among young people, have actually declined. While only 10% of people filing for divorce in 1990 were over the age of 50, that percentage had reached 25% by 2010. The number has continued to rise since that time. There are many factors that have contributed to the rise in older divorces, often referred to as “gray divorces”.
In the first place, the same generation that changed American social attitudes toward divorce is now older. People who welcomed no-fault laws and are now in their elder years themselves. They do not face a social stigma about divorce that elders of past generations did. In addition, people are leading fuller, happier and healthier lives for many more years to come. Healthy people in what is, essentially, middle age, still expect to enjoy a romantic life and positive companionship. In addition, just as among younger people, many people who choose to end their marriages have divorced before. They may be ending a second or third marriage rather than a longer partnership.
Financial concerns can be a major issue with gray divorce, especially when long-term marriages are involved. People may face difficulties rebuilding their retirement funds after they are divided. They have less time to build up their funds, and single retirements can be costly.
People of any age may deal with significant financial issues after a divorce. A family law attorney can work with a client to reach a fair settlement on a range of issues, including property division and alimony.