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Chicago Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Divorce > Data Shows Women Financially More Vulnerable In Gray Divorces

Data Shows Women Financially More Vulnerable In Gray Divorces


Divorce is not just something that younger couples, or new couples do. The reality is that in Chicago, and throughout the rest of the United States, couples divorce at any age, even in long term marriages, and even into or nearing their golden years. However, in gray divorces, certain factors may contribute to unforeseen financial hardships after a long-term marriage, particularly for women. It is important for women facing gray divorces to understand their potential financial picture, particularly if they have been financially dependent on their spouse.

“Gray Divorces” in a Chicago Divorce Cases

A “gray divorce” refers to the divorce between a couple that is 50-years old and older. In gray divorces today, couples may have married as early as the late 1950’s to 1970’s, when women still had significant financial vulnerability and there were clear gender biases in the financial system towards women. To help financially dependent women bridge this gap, divorce laws in the United States began to allow for alimony payments to divorced women.

“Alimony” in a Chicago Divorce Cases

Simply put, typically alimony refers to financial payments that one ex-spouse is required to pay to a financially dependent spouse. In Chicago divorce cases, alimony may also be referred as “maintenance”, and a spouse may receive alimony payments both during the pendency of the divorce proceedings and after the divorce proceedings are over. In Chicago divorces, typically the duration of alimony payments to one spouse depends on the length of the marriage.

The Vulnerability of Women in Chicago Gray Divorce Cases

Historically, women could not own property in the 1900s and there were significant biases in the United States financial system until the 1970s that weighed against women. In addition, historically in older American marriages, it was not uncommon for the husband to be the “breadwinner” of the family, and the woman to stay at home and out of the workforce, rendering her financially dependent on her spouse. As a result, women in gray divorces may have little or no savings or emergency savings after a divorce and before retirement age. The statistics show that women who are 63-years old and older in the United States, accordingly, experience a poverty rate of 27 percent. This is equivalent to nine times the poverty rate of married couples of the same advanced age. Alimony payments may help women in gray Chicago divorces, however the duration and amount of alimony payments may be uncertain. It is therefore particularly important for women in gray divorces in Chicago to speak with an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer about their rights and options.

Help in Chicago With Your Divorce

If you are seeking a divorce or need help with a divorce in Chicago, the experienced Chicago divorce lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC are here to help. The lawyers at Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC offer a confidential consultation to discuss your case and to see if they can advocate for you in your Chicago divorce. Contact Birnbaum Gelfman Sharma & Arnoux, LLC and learn about your rights from an experienced Chicago divorce lawyer.



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