After decades of marriage, spouses will have a lot invested financially and emotionally. When partners are considering divorce after such a long union, there are many unique concerns and questions that will arise.
How will years of savings be divided? Who will get the family home? Where will retirement money go? Roberts Sparks Attorneys of Tampa exists to ease the fears of anyone going through a divorce. We help people find the best path through divorce proceedings that avoids stress but also leaves clients with the support they’ll need to build a new life.
Free Consultation with a Tampa Divorce Lawyer
If you are facing a divorce after many years of marriage, don’t sit back and allow someone else to decide what you deserve to take with you. Schedule a free Florida divorce consultation with the Tampa divorce lawyers at Robert Sparks Attorneys. Our consultations are confidential and there’s no obligation to you or your family.
There are differences in how divorce is handled in Florida compared to other states and you need to know how to best use those differences to secure a fair divorce settlement. There are also important factors when considering the dissolution of a long marriage that’s seen a considerable build-up of assets that all parties should be aware of.
If you feel we can help you safeguard your rights and retain more of what you’ve worked so hard for, we stand ready to represent you. We help clients successfully navigate mediated divorces, collaborative divorces, and contested divorces decided in court.
Florida and Equitable Distribution Divorce
Florida is one of the many states that use the legal concept of “equitable distribution” to divide property in a divorce. It means that judges try to divide assets fairly, but not necessarily 50/50 between spouses.
Non-marital property, assets spouses possess individually before they get married, generally stays with the spouse with ownership. But Florida courts will follow the guidelines of equitable distribution when dividing up “community property” from a marriage. Community property is assets acquired during the marriage no matter whose name is on a title or deed.
Community property isn’t always divided right down the middle with both sides getting the same amounts. Judges look at many different factors and can give one partner a larger percentage than another.
These are just some of the determining factors when courts are involved in dividing up assets from a long-term marriage:
- Age of spouses.
- Length of the marriage.
- Physical and mental health of each spouse.
- Income and earning potential of each spouse.
- Retirement plans and pensions.
- Future financial needs of each spouse.
- Sacrifices made by one spouse for the benefit of the other spouse’s career.
- The number of minor children at home.
- Debts and assets of each spouse.
In a divorce involving two people that have been married a decade or longer and between retired couples, the right dividing line that is fair to each partner can be hard to find. Judges don’t always make the right decision to provide fair settlements.
A skilled Tampa Divorce Lawyer is your best defense against coming out of a divorce hearing with far less than you need to support yourself and your family. Robert Sparks Attorneys make sure that everything you’ve worked and sacrificed for isn’t taken for granted.
Retirement Plans and Pensions in Divorce
Retirement savings, 401Ks, IRAs, and pensions also fall under the scope of equitable distribution. A divorce occurring near retirement age or after retirement might prove much more complicated than a divorce that occurs between younger partners.
These retirement assets can be harder to fairly divide because their value can vary. Payouts can also be planned over many decades with an indefinite end date. Certain parties going through divorce can end up losing hundreds of thousands of dollars because they trust that IRAs and pensions are being distributed fairly without actually looking at all of the potential gains involved.
Those that worked hard to prepare for retirement over the years deserve a fair portion of benefits. Those that supported career earners also deserve a fair share of financial security in retirement.
The Tampa Divorce Lawyers at Robert Sparks Attorneys are skilled at sorting through the potential payouts of retirement plans and pensions to find a reasonable compromise. We are also skilled negotiators who make sure our clients aren’t robbed of the financial support they’ll need to live comfortably in their golden years.
For more on how divorce is handled for older Florida residents, check out our informational page on Senior Divorce.
Dividing Up Debt After a Long-Term Tampa Marriage
Many couples forget to consider how the debt they’ve accumulated over the years will affect divorce negotiations. Longtime partners can build financial wealth over the years, but they may have also accumulated a lot of bills and debits that remain unpaid.
Mortgages, medical bills, and loans will have to be divided equitably. One partner may be assigned responsibility for a certain segment of debt. But what if your ex-spouse falls behind on loan payments while your name is still on mortgage or loan agreements?
Your credit score and your possessions may be in jeopardy. In some cases, one partner can also agree to accept the financial debt of the other spouse. However, lenders aren’t obligated to honor any division of debt you and your partner agree to. They can come after both parties, even after a divorce settlement is signed.
When debt is in question, Robert Sparks Attorneys will act to protect your interests now and in the years to come. We determine which loans have your name on them and which belong solely to your partner and then ensure that the debt doesn’t end up as your problem.
In some cases, we will work to get your debts paid off before a divorce goes final. Assets may have to be liquidated, but getting those bills paid in full can bring peace of mind and leave you needing less contact with your ex. Hiring an experienced property division lawyer in Tampa will help ensure you take the necessary actions to avoid future complications.
Speak with an Experienced Tampa Divorce Lawyer Today
Going through a divorce can be one of the most stressful events of your life. It’s especially difficult when a long partnership comes to an end. It’s important to know that you don’t have to face divorce alone. With decades of collective experience, our Tampa divorce lawyers at Robert Sparks Attorneys have the knowledge of Florida divorce law you’ll need to fight for the best possible outcome in your divorce.
Having a skilled divorce attorney is especially important when the dissolution of a long-term marriage is under consideration. The additional assets partners may have collected together over decades will be harder to divide in a manner that is acceptable to both parties. Retirement savings will also need to be fairly distributed. Allow our divorce attorneys to safeguard you during this difficult process and help you emerge ready to begin your new life.
Learn more about what we can do to help you by contacting us and scheduling a free divorce consultation today. We protect those going through divorce in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and the surrounding areas.