Going through a divorce can be challenging at any stage of life. A “gray divorce,” however, may bring with it unique challenges and considerations. Are you getting ready for a gray divorce? Having an Orland Park gray divorce lawyer on your side can help you learn more about your rights and protect yourself as you move forward with your divorce.

What is Considered a Gray Divorce?

A gray divorce is a divorce between spouses over the age of 50 (who may, in many cases, have gray hair, earning the gray divorce its name). In most cases, gray divorces involve spouses who have been married for some time. Spouses may realize that they no longer wish to be married as they near retirement, they may have stayed married long-term out of financial concerns, or they may have waited until any children from the marriage were out of the home and on their own before proceeding with a divorce.

Unique Considerations for Gray Divorces

If you’re planning to get a gray divorce in Orland Park, it’s important to make sure you understand your rights. Orland Park gray divorces may have some unique challenges that both spouses must consider when making plans for the future, dividing assets, or finalizing the information for the divorce decree. Child custody arrangements are usually not a concern since children may already be old enough that they are out on their own, but there can be unique issues involving adult children. There are many gray divorces that involve other serious issues such as health insurance and the division of finances. Working with a gray divorce lawyer can help ensure that you take all relevant concerns into consideration.

Asset Division

In many cases, gray divorces are considered high net worth divorces when compared to divorces that occur at a younger age. Both spouses may have had more time and opportunities to increase their overall assets, which may, in some cases, lead to more overall contention during the divorce process.

Retirement Accounts

Gray divorces usually involve division of retirement accounts, which may be much more important to both spouses. During a gray divorce, the spouses may have less time to rebuild the assets in those accounts prior to retirement if they lose out in the divorce.

Beneficiary Information and Estate Planning

Gray divorces frequently require changes in beneficiaries for many accounts and policies. In some cases, both spouses may want to remain the beneficiary on accounts they have paid into previously. In addition, your gray divorce may require changes in your medical power of attorney and other critical estate paperwork.

Spousal Maintenance

In cases where one spouse has stayed home to look after the house and family long-term, spousal maintenance may become a more contentious issue. Spousal maintenance may also be factored in longer-term, since the lower-earning spouse may have fewer opportunities to increase training and income.

Marital Agreements

If you have a marital agreement, either a premarital agreement or postnuptial agreement, it may no longer fairly and accurately represent your needs and wishes following a gray divorce. However, those legal documents can prove very difficult to overturn.

When to Contact a Lawyer About an Orland Park Gray Divorce

As you prepare for a gray divorce in Orland Park, it’s critical to have a lawyer on your side who understands the unique considerations of a gray divorce and will fight to help protect your assets as much as possible. Contact an Orland Park gray divorce attorney as soon as you decide to move forward with a divorce.


Do I have to pay maintenance to a much lower earning spouse during a gray divorce?

The court will look at several key factors when determining if you will need to pay out spousal support or maintenance following a gray divorce, including:

  • Each spouse’s current income
  • The earning potential of each spouse
  • What contributions each spouse may have made to the marital home and the family during the marriage

In many cases, the higher-earning spouse will end up paying spousal maintenance following a gray divorce. However, you may need to consult a gray divorce lawyer to get a better idea of what maintenance you might be expected to pay.

What do I need to do to prepare myself and my finances for a gray divorce?

As you prepare for a gray divorce, you may want to:

  • Take a look at all of your assets, including high-value property and collectibles as well as retirement accounts.
  • Evaluate your current debts.
  • Create a clear plan for the future.

In addition, consider the benefits of working with an attorney as you manage a gray divorce.

Do I need an attorney for a gray divorce?

Even if you have been through a divorce before, having an attorney can help protect you, your assets, and your future. Contact an attorney when you start planning your gray divorce to learn more about your rights and how to protect yourself through the process.