2 important considerations for those considering a gray divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2023 | Divorce

Not that many years ago, people talked about divorce as something that young people would do after getting married too early or making poor choices. There was a long-standing assumption that those who remain married for a decade or longer were very unlikely to divorce.

However, modern divorce statistics actually show that older adults who have had years of marriage together are among those most likely to file for divorce. Gray divorces that take place after years of marriage are often fraught with conflict and challenges resulting from years of sharing incomes and resources.

Those who are considering divorce after many years of marriage and while very close to or past the age of retirement will need to factor the two considerations below into their decisions.

1. Their retirement savings

Typically, divorcing couples in Florida will share their property in an equitable or fair manner. Even if retirement savings are in one spouse’s name or they have a pension rather than a savings account, the courts can still order the division of those retirement resources.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will allow a dependent spouse to make a claim based on what the other spouse earned during the marriage. Thankfully, such claims don’t affect the benefits of the higher-earning spouse. Finding a fair and reasonable way to share retirement benefits will often be one of the most pressing challenges in a gray divorce.

2. The possibility of alimony payments

Alimony, which some people refer to as spousal maintenance, involves scheduled payments made by a spouse with better personal economic circumstances to a dependent spouse during and often after a divorce. When shorter marriages end in divorce and people still have years of professional development ahead of them, short-term or rehabilitative alimony is often the only option.

However, the Florida family courts can order permanent alimony in scenarios involving long-term marriages and those unable to support themselves after divorce. Spouses may disagree about what is reasonable when it comes to one spouse financially supporting the other after the divorce.

Whether spouses attempt to negotiate directly with one another and their attorneys or turn to a family law judge to resolve their disagreements, both alimony and retirement savings will frequently be a source of disagreement in gray divorce cases in Florida. As a result, older Floridians who are thinking about filing for divorce should consider seeking legal guidance to better ensure that they can make informed choices regarding this issue.