What to Know About Retirement and Divorce

a retired couple looks worriedThe divorce rate among couples who are over 50 has been rising in the past few decades. On top of the emotional difficulty of divorcing later in life, there’s often a profound financial impact. This is especially true when dealing with retirement. If it looks like you may be headed towards a “gray divorce”, be sure to consult with an experienced divorce attorney. Here’s what you need to know about divorcing in retirement.

How Alimony is Determined in Florida

Permanent alimony is generally granted after a long-term marriage (over 17 years). In Florida, the court merely requires that an award of permanent alimony is more likely than not to be appropriate. The amount can vary dramatically, but you should expect alimony to be a factor when divorcing in your senior years. Work with a reputable divorce lawyer to ensure alimony is awarded fairly in your case.

Dividing Assets in a Divorce

Dividing assets can be even more difficult in retirement. You have retirement plans, life insurance policies, stocks, real estate and life savings that will be divided. It can be overwhelming and have a massive impact on your financial future. It’s important to keep in mind that in most situations, these funds are likely to be split evenly. Your financial situation in retirement may drastically change once your assets are cut in half. Be sure that all of your funds are carefully calculated and made clear in your divorce decree. Your divorce attorney can advise on how specific retirement plans, such as 401(k)s or Roth IRAs are divided in cases of divorce.

Social Security and Divorce

You may claim benefits on an ex-spouse’s Social Security record if you were married for 10 years or longer. This is true even if they eventually remarry. Once you’ve reached the age of 62 and have been divorced for at least two years, you may qualify for monthly withdrawals. This will change if you remarry. Additionally, you’re eligible for all of the benefits in the event of your ex-spouse’s death if you are not remarried at that time.

Who Keeps the Family House in Divorce?

The house is often one of the largest assets a couple has, but parting with the family home can be extremely emotional. It usually makes the most financial sense, however, since courts divide assets as evenly as possible. Children are typically out of the home when you’re divorcing in your senior years, which can make moving less difficult. Keep in mind that if you do keep the house, you’ll be giving up something else to your spouse in return.

Consult with a Divorce Attorney in Jacksonville

If you’re in retirement and facing a divorce, it’s important to know what the financial impact will be on your future. Contact the divorce attorneys at Parker & DuFresne in Jacksonville, Florida. With decades of experience in trying divorce cases, you can be confident that the assets you spent a lifetime building will be divided fairly. Call us for your consultation at 904-733-7766.

Sources:
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0000-0099/0061/Sections/0061.08.html
https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/divspouse.html

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