Retirement is meant to be a time of relaxation and adventure, but sometimes people realize they don’t have the right partner for that adventure. Older married couples across Florida are finding they are no longer compatible and are opting for a late-in-life divorce more than ever.
This trend of filing for divorce in the golden years has come to be known as “grey divorce.” It’s certainly something that affects many couples in Florida and in the Tampa area.
Divorce during the senior years can bring with it concerns over how retirement income and other assets will get split up. A Tampa Senior Citizen Divorce Lawyer addresses these concerns and makes sure clients come out of a divorce with the support they need to rebuild their lives.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Tampa Senior Citizen Divorce Lawyer
If you are considering divorce as a senior citizen, an initial case evaluation with the team at Robert Sparks Attorneys provides you with vital information about the process ahead. Contact us to schedule a free and confidential consultation as soon as possible.
We can go over the steps as it applies to your unique situation as a Tampa area resident. This no-obligation divorce consultation ensures you are aware of your rights and have a thorough understanding of the court process.
Our experienced divorce attorneys utilize extensive knowledge of Florida divorce law to ensure our clients in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and beyond receive fair treatment and have their retirement years protected. We fight to secure a positive outcome for our clients during such a difficult period in their lives.
Senior Divorce in the U.S. and Florida
Florida might be considered a focal point for grey divorce as it’s one of the most popular states for retirees. California has the most senior residents of any state, but Florida remains the state with the second biggest senior population. As far as the percentage of a state’s population made up of those 65 or older, recent numbers show that Florida and Maine are neck and neck for the top spot.
2021 census estimates show that Florida’s 65+ population makes up around 21% of residents in the state. In Tampa, almost 55,000 residents are 65 years old or older making up around 14% of the city’s population.
The Pew Research Center documents a sharp rise in divorce involving older adults in the Sunshine State and across the U.S. They report that among U.S. adults ages 50 and older, the divorce rate has roughly doubled since the 1990s. They estimate that over the same period, the divorce rate had tripled for ages 65 and older.
These dramatic figures only show how couples can reach a breaking point in a relationship at any age. All divorces are difficult for those ending a union and their families. But a divorce later in life can be more complex because it may involve more wealth and possessions to divide up. Splitting up a life that’s sometimes been constructed memory by memory over decades can be extremely challenging and emotionally traumatic.
A skilled Tampa Divorce Lawyer works to help make divorce settlement negotiations go as smoothly as possible. Robert Sparks Attorneys compassionately safeguards our clients to see that their investment in a lifetime of work, care, and support isn’t forgotten. We also strive to help partners reach a consensus with as little friction as possible so that both parties can get on with their new lives.
Important Concerns for Seniors Going Through Divorce
A divorce in your senior years can create the same emotional distress as divorce at any age. But grey divorce often comes with additional concerns about the division of assets and obligations built up over a lifetime.
Those going through a divorce as senior citizens could also have real concerns about how their retirement money and investments are distributed during divorce negotiations. Divorces in the golden years can involve high-net-worth families who have accumulated a lot of money and property after a lifetime of saving and investing. A sensible and fair division of wealth is the best outcome for both parties.
Divorces might also involve senior citizens on fixed incomes. Many retirees don’t have the opportunity to increase their wealth and are dependent on their retirement and social security checks. A fair division of monthly assets can be even more important in these situations.
These and other factors can greatly affect the position senior citizens find themselves in after a divorce agreement is signed:
- Retirement and pensions. Retirement plans and benefits will have to be divided fairly. The complexity of a divorce case can rise dramatically if spouses are retiring while going through a divorce or are still waiting to retire. Having an experienced Tampa divorce attorney on your side makes sure you receive what’s fair out of retirement savings.
- Income and Spousal Support. Not all couples in their 60s will be retired. One partner may continue to work while one spouse may have been a stay-at-home parent and never started a career. Both spouses will need to receive a fair share of weekly income so they can maintain a similar lifestyle to what they are used to.
- Business assets. Couples may have started a business together. The operation may have to be liquidated, but couples can work out other concessions so that a business doesn’t have to be closed or sold off.
- Healthcare benefits shared by both partners will have to be fairly divided. It’s possible new, separate health plans will have to be opened.
- The cashing in of investments or the division of shares might be part of a grey divorce settlement.
- Debt. Not all seniors have paid off their mortgages by the time they retire. They may share loans and other debt that usually won’t all fall to just one person. An equitable way to divide debt will have to be found. Robert Sparks Attorneys takes action to make sure our clients don’t shoulder an unfair percentage of that debt.
- Wills and trusts could have to be rewritten. Partners may need to write new wills on their own to reflect a new financial situation. Assets for children and grandchildren may need to be safeguarded, especially if parents remarry after getting a divorce.
- Ownership of a family home. Disputes may arise over who gets to stay in the current home a couple shares. Emotional attachments to a house that spouses may have lived in for decades can run deep.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will taxes be an issue in my divorce as a senior citizen?
In some cases. Once investments and retirement funds are withdrawn, taxes may be due from both parties. A skilled Tampa divorce lawyer finds the best ways to reduce the tax burden as assets are divided.
Can I collect support from my spouse’s social security?
In some cases, yes. If you’ve been married long enough, you have a right to your partner’s social security compensation. You may be able to draw from social security without affecting how much your ex-spouse receives.
When should I update wills and estate plans if I’m getting divorced?
You should update your will when you know you are getting divorced and then again after your divorce is complete. Your assets and properties will likely have changed drastically and your new will must reflect that.
Speak with a Tampa Senior Citizen Divorce Lawyer
If you live in Florida and are considering filing for divorce, it’s worth talking to a skilled local divorce attorney in your area. Even when divorces later in life are friendly and partners want the best for each other, there are still pitfalls to avoid when forced to comply with Florida law and Florida divorce courts.
Speak with an experienced attorney to make absolutely sure you will have the best chance at rebuilding your life and resuming the best retirement years of all.
If you live in Tampa or the surrounding area, contact Robert Sparks Attorneys for a free divorce consultation. It’s a no-risk opportunity to speak with our divorce attorneys and go over your options before you sign away important benefits in an unfair divorce settlement.