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Can I Get Divorced if My Spouse Has Dementia?

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Wheaton Divorce LawyerIllnesses that cause memory loss and cognitive decline, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and others, affect many Americans. While it is more common to occur after the age of 70, younger people can be afflicted as well. These diseases take a heavy toll on everyone involved, whether you have the disease yourself or a loved one does. The ways they affect someone cognitively can make it seem like your spouse is not the person you fell in love with and married. 

Gray divorce, or divorce when the spouses are 50 years old or older, can have its own set of complications because the couple is typically separating after a long marriage and may have amassed more assets - or debts - than a younger couple. When one of the spouses has dementia, it can make it even more difficult to navigate. If your spouse has dementia and you are considering divorce, an experienced DuPage County, IL divorce attorney can answer your questions with sensitivity and protect your rights compassionately. 

The Complications of Divorcing Someone with Dementia

Divorce is commonly considered a difficult process to go through. This is felt even more so when divorcing someone who has dementia or other cognitive diseases. There are several reasons why, including:


Kane County gray divorce lawyerCommonly known as “gray divorce,” when a couple in their fifties or older goes through a divorce, many issues come up that are unique to their specific situation. These couples are generally married for longer than younger couples and are either nearing or already into their retirement years. The financial implications of a gray divorce can be more complicated and very different from those of a divorce for a younger couple. Suppose you are in your fifties or older and considering divorce but do not know where to begin. In that case, an experienced DuPage County, IL divorce lawyer can help clear up some of the confusion and explain how you can help protect your financial future.

Common Aspects of Gray Divorce

Gray divorce happens when a married couple with spouses who are 50 years old or older decides to get a divorce. It differs from divorce for younger couples for several reasons:

  • Older couples tend to have had a longer marriage than younger couples. This means they have generally amassed more marital assets and property (including cars, apartments, art, and jewelry) than younger couples.
  • Older couples are nearing their retirement years or are already retired. Many people throughout the country have their pension and insurance provided by their spouse’s employer. Once the marriage is ended, questions arise about the validity of an employer providing for an ex-spouse’s insurance.
  • Older couples typically have raised families. However, their children tend to be adults, so questions of parental rights and responsibilities and child support payments are generally irrelevant in these cases.

While the above are common aspects that you typically see in a gray divorce, another one is the fact that poor planning can lead to bad financial decisions. Once an older couple is ready to get divorced, they may feel impatient to finalize it to put the marriage behind them. However, this can lead people to rush into settlements they would not have considered had they taken the time to review everything carefully.


Naperville Divorce LawyerOtherwise known as “gray divorce,” divorce among couples who are 50 years of age or older has become increasingly common. The divorce rate among Americans in this age range has more than doubled over the last three decades. This is being attributed to several factors, including a longer life expectancy. The thought of getting divorced can be quite stressful if you’ve been married longer than you were ever single in your adult life. If you are 50 years of age or older and are considering divorce but overwhelmed by what it involves, a DuPage County, IL Gray Divorce attorney can answer your questions and help sort through the confusion and anxiety.

How Does Gray Divorce Differ from Other Divorces?

Longer life expectancy is a major reason why more and more older couples are getting divorced. In the past, unhappy couples may have stayed together for the sake of their children, and with a shorter life expectancy, once their children were grown and had moved out, it might have seemed like too drastic a measure for a limited time.

Now that people are living longer, it is fair to expect to live for many years after their children become adults. If they are not happily married, the idea of staying together at that point is not appealing. More and more people are choosing to stop settling for an unhappy relationship.


Unexpected Ways Gray Divorce Can Be Easier for You

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce is never easy. Even if both people agree that this step makes the most sense for them, it is not a decision that is reached lightly. This is certainly the case for people over the age of 50 as well. In addition to splitting assets and debts, the couple will need to reconsider their retirement plans.

Fortunately, there are several surprising reasons why gray divorce could be easier than divorce at a younger age. If you are 50 years old or older and you think divorce might be the logical step for you, a Wheaton, IL divorce attorney could help make sense of this confusing time.

Why Is Gray Divorce Considered Complex?

Divorce at any age involves an agreement for asset distribution. The couple needs to split up their assets and debts in an equitable way. However, if you are 50 years old or older when you begin divorce proceedings, more factors might be considered:


3 Reasons Gray Divorce Can be Complex

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IL divorce lawyerDivorce always has the potential to be complicated. With divorce for people 50 years or older, this certainly holds true. By the time you have reached your fifties, your life has probably gone through many changes since you first got married. These changes can make it harder to split, financially, physically, and even emotionally. 

If you have been considering a divorce later in life, you might be feeling an added stress that you cannot quite understand. Below is a short list of reasons why this may be. If you are 50 years or older and you are thinking about getting a divorce, a Wheaton divorce attorney can offer you the advice you need to help you make informed decisions.

Emotional Complexities of Separating After So Many Years

When you are in your fifties, chances are that you have built a family together with your spouse. You could have adult children, and you might even have grandchildren. With a larger family come more birthday parties, graduations, weddings, and other family events for you both to attend. Maybe you traveled together, or have a favorite restaurant, and having memories and mementos from these experiences can make it hard for you to consider making this move, even if it is the right move for you.

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