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Divorce After a Long Marriage

Posted in Divorce on Tuesday, October 29th, 2019

Every divorce comes with its own complications, but divorce after a marriage of many years is typically that much more complicated. The first concern in every divorce involving children is always the children’s ongoing well-being. If you’re divorcing after a long marriage (often called gray divorce), however, your children are likely living their own separate lives. While this doesn’t mean your divorce won’t affect your children, it does mean that your main focus should be on your own financial future. If you’re facing a gray divorce, an experienced Joliet Divorce attorney can help.

Your Finances

It’s very common in long marriages for one spouse to handle the finances completely – or to have a far better understanding of the finances – than the other spouse. If you haven’t been closely involved in your marital finances and are now facing divorce, it can be a very frightening experience. After all, you probably have no idea how you are going to support yourself or where you are going to live post-divorce. There are, however, some steps you can take to begin securing the financial information you need to ensure that your financial rights are well protected, including:

  • If you have a financial advisor, request copies of all your financial documents.
  • Make copies of all your joint bank account statements.
  • Gather documentation of each of your retirement accounts and other financial instruments, including life insurance policies.
  • Document all marital property, including jewelry, art, and anything else of value that you’ve amassed over the course of your marriage.

In a longer marriage, you’ve had more time to grow your wealth. Your total assets, however, are also likely to be far more complicated and will need to be carefully appraised.

Special Considerations

While gray divorce typically involves greater assets, it also means that you have fewer years left to address the financial setbacks that divorce naturally entails. The simple fact is that it is more expensive to live separate lives than it is to pool your resources and live as a couple. After being married for many years, you have less time to address financial issues related to your retirement, for example. As we age, our employment and earning opportunities generally decrease, which makes hammering out an equitable division of marital property critical. 

Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance in Illinois is based on granting more independence to a financially dependent divorcing spouse. An example is when one spouse gives up his or her career to raise the children or to support the other spouse’s career goals. A standard formula is generally applied to obtain the maintenance amount, but the duration of spousal maintenance is predicated on the length of the marriage. For a marriage that spans at least 20 years, the court may order permanent maintenance or maintenance that’s equal to the duration of the marriage. 

If You Are Facing a Gray Divorce, You Need a Knowledgeable Joliet Divorce Attorney on Your Side

Divorcing after a long marriage is uniquely complicated, but the dedicated legal team at Sabuco, Beck, Hansen & Massino, P.C. in Joliet are uniquely qualified to help. Our experienced divorce lawyers are committed to protecting your rights throughout the divorce process. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information today. 

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