The term gray divorce refers to the dissolution of marriage among individuals over the age of 50. There are numerous reasons why older spouses may file for divorce in an Illinois courtroom. A closer examination of data related to these divorces reveals that women are more likely to initiate proceedings than men. The financial risks women take in a gray divorce may impact settlement negotiations.
Gray divorce and financial concerns
The majority of gray divorces, 66%, are initiated by women, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP). In previous generations, many married women were financially dependent on their husbands. That is not always the case today. With fewer concerns about financial matters, a woman nearing retirement age may seek to end a troubled marriage. However, not all women are in a solid financial position.
Unfortunately, 27% of women live below the federal poverty line after filing for a gray divorce. Even those above the federal poverty line could experience a decline in the standard of living when they return to single status. Many women have to put other concerns above financial ones, as a mentally or physically abusive partner could jeopardize their safety. Spouses who abuse drugs and alcohol or are negligent in their financial matters may lead a partner to file for divorce.
Effective divorce settlements
Older persons face challenges when reaching retirement age. An unstable financial future could make life difficult. Effective settlement negotiations may provide a partial solution for women seeking a gray divorce. A just and equitable settlement might allow both spouses to better plan their futures.
An agreement for spousal support might be a critical element of the negotiations. A fair amount of spousal support may help someone transition into post-marriage life more easily, thanks to the financial support the award offers.