Some Considerations When Getting Divorced Later In Life
Gray divorce refers to divorces involving older couples who have been married for a long time before deciding to go their separate ways. There are many reasons couples may wait until their twilight years before filing for divorce. It could be that the couple decided to wait until the children were older and moved out before divorcing, or it could be that one of the spouses decides that being married to his or her spouse no longer works.
When older couples get divorced, it has more of an impact on many areas of each spouse’s life. In a way, it is starting over at a point in life when the spouse may be settled and comfortable. There may need to be a mental and emotional adjustment to the divorce, especially if the decision to get divorced is not mutual.
Because the children of a couple seeking a gray divorce are likely adults who are responsible for their own needs, the major issue in a gray divorce would likely be the finances and the division of the marital property. The division matters because once the marital property is divided between the couple, each spouse may not have enough to support the spouse through retirement, and the spouses may have to keep working longer.
It is important for the couple to remember that retirement accounts and pensions are considered marital assets under Florida law. This could mean that if one spouse has a well retirement account with the other either has no account or an underfunded on, the court could order the assets to be equitably divided so one spouse does not suffer.
As with all divorces, spouses getting divorced later in life can choose to proceed through mediation, or otherwise negotiate and come up with an agreement on how the court should handle the division of assets. In such an agreement, the spouses can agree to each keep their retirement accounts and waive rights to a share in the other spouse’s account.
It is possible that a court will award spousal support to one of the spouses in a gray divorce. Because of the age of the spouses, life insurance may come into play. Life insurance is sometimes required in cases where a court order child or spousal support, to ensure that the recipients of the support are not left struggling if the paying spouse dies. Unfortunately, at an older age, life insurance premiums can become quite expensive. This is something to consider and discuss with an attorney if it is included as part of an agreement.
Contact An Experienced Divorce Attorney
You can choose to get divorced at any age, just consider that the longer you have been married, the more likely it is that your divorce will present some unique issues that should be addressed by an experienced attorney. If you are considering filing for divorce after a long marriage, contact an experienced Boca Raton, Florida divorce attorney at Law Offices of Schwartz l White for more information on how we can help you through the divorce process.