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5 Tips to Handling Divorce When You’re Retired


A wide array of personal circumstances can complicate the divorce process in Florida, and one such factor is retirement of one or both parties. In these “gray” divorces, children aren’t usually at issue because they’re older; however, there can be considerable disputes over property division and alimony. Though Florida’s Dissolution of Marriage statute contains the relevant legal concepts, it doesn’t provide much guidance on how to handle divorce when you and/or your spouse are retired – or are approaching this important milestone.

Divorce in retirement involves a massive change to your lifestyle and financial situation, so it’s wise to consult with a Florida divorce lawyer regarding your case. A few tips may also be helpful.

  1. Understand Florida divorce laws on property division: The statute requires an equitable division of all marital assets, and marital debts. Most property obtained during a marriage is marital with certain exceptions. Couples who have been married for many years may have accumulated significant property over time, including real and personal property. You might be able streamline the divorce process if you can agree on who gets the primary residence, vehicles, bank accounts, and household goods. If you cannot reach a compromise, the court will divide your assets according to the principles of equity – i.e., fairness.
  1. Be prepared to address alimony: The Court’s evaluate a request for alimony based on a number of factors including the length of the marriage, a disparity in income, and most importantly one party’s need balanced against the other party’s ability to pay. When a couple is retired, very often their incomes are minimal or dependent upon income from existing assets which can complicate a request for alimony.
  1. Find out about Social Security benefits: Social Security benefits can be a source of income after retirement, and you may qualify to receive up to half of your ex-spouse’s amount. You might be eligible if:
  • You were married for at least 10 years;
  • You’re still unmarried; and,
  • The Social Security benefit is more than your own.
  1. Learn how divorce will affect retirement benefits: When either or both of you have a pension, the rules of the plan will determine how distributions are handled after divorce. In addition, you might need to review the retirement account balances that accrued during your marriage, since they may be considered marital assets. As with alimony and property division, it’s possible to negotiate an arrangement that suits you both.
  1. Retain a Dade City, FL Divorce Attorney to Protect Your Interests

The most helpful tip for dealing with divorce in retirement is working with an experienced Dade City divorce lawyer that will assist you in navigating the complex legal issues. At the Law Office of Laurie R. Chane, our team has been advising Pasco County clients in these matters for years, so we’re prepared to take on your case. Please contact our office at 352-567-0055 or go online to set up a consultation with a member of our team.


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