110 E. Schiller Street, Suite 320, Elmhurst, IL 60126

Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC312-605-4041

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IL divorce lawyerMany people have looked at sweet, elderly couples and romanticized their decades-long marriages, lamenting a social era that is often said to no longer exist. If you were to ask someone if they thought the divorce rate was increasing or decreasing in the United States, what do you think they would say? Many people would likely say the divorce rate has been increasing for years when in reality, it is the opposite. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the national divorce rate has decreased from a rate of four out of every 1,000 couples in 2000 to only 2.9 out of every 1,000 couples in 2018. Interestingly enough, when you look at the divorce rates for the different age groups, the groups whose divorce rates are growing the quickest are adults over the age of 50. In fact, the Pew Research Center reported that the divorce rate doubled for adults over the age of 50 and roughly tripled for adults over the age of 65 between 1990 and 2015.

When it comes down to it, divorce is an emotionally stressful process and will be difficult at any age. However, when you get a divorce later in life, there are certain issues that you should pay extra attention to that a younger person may not necessarily have as high on their list of priorities, such as retirement accounts and spousal support. Getting a divorce after the age of 50 also often means there are more property and/or debt issues that must be taken care of before the divorce can be settled. In many cases, a late-in-life divorce, or a “gray divorce,” as they have been dubbed, can become a headache of a legal mess that is best cleaned up by an Illinois divorce attorney who is knowledgeable in the issues that may present in a gray divorce.

Why Are Gray Divorces Becoming More Common?

There have been many theories as to why gray divorces have been increasing in rate in recent years. Many individuals who get divorced when they are over the age of 50 have been married for decades and in some cases, more than half of their lives. It can be hard for some people to grasp why a person would want to leave a relationship after so many years, but researchers have found a couple of common themes:

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IL divorce lawyerSocial distancing guidelines have been in place for weeks in an effort to slow the rapidly spreading coronavirus. Nearly every aspect of our lives has been affected by this situation, including governmental and legal matters. In Cook County, the circuit court has changed some of its guidelines as to how court functions will take place during this pandemic. One of the changes includes how prove ups for a divorce are permitted to take place during this time. At Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, we have already utilized these new guidelines to conduct prove ups since the courts have been closed. This has resulted in successful outcomes for our clients in their divorce cases. 

What Is a Prove Up?

When a couple has an uncontested divorce, they must take steps to finalize their divorce and make it official. To do this, they are required to attend a hearing before a judge, allowing the judge to review their agreements and ensure that the agreements are fair and in the best interest of any minor children involved in the divorce. Once the judge signs the divorce agreement, the divorce is final. This chain of events is commonly referred to as a prove up. Prove ups are typically required to be in person, with everything in writing, though such circumstances have temporarily changed due to the reduction in court operations.

Requirements for Oral Prove Ups

The Cook County circuit court has put measures into place to allow couples to finalize their divorce remotely. If a couple wishes to have their prove up conducted remotely, they must sign a document stating they agree to do so. The agreement, as well as all required documents, must be submitted to the court via email. The agreement must contain a requested date, time and method of communication, such as Skype or a conference call. The court will then respond with a confirmation of your chosen date and time or a new date and time for the prove up.

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