Going through a divorce as a senior citizen, sometimes called a gray divorce, can make a challenging process even more difficult. Older couples typically have more assets to divide up and the distribution of retirement funds and savings can be a sticking point in divorce settlement negotiations.
Senior citizens should be able to claim their fair share of retirement plans and pensions so they can remain financially secure through their golden years. A Tampa Senior Citizen Divorce Lawyer works with clients to make sure their desires and needs are considered when a marriage is coming to an end.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Tampa Senior Citizen Divorce Lawyer
If you are considering divorce as a senior citizen in the Tampa Area, an initial case evaluation with the team at Robert Sparks Attorneys provides you with vital information about the process ahead.
A free consultation with a skilled Tampa Divorce Attorney is an important tool you can use to consider how your retirement plans and savings could be affected. Contact us to schedule a free and confidential consultation as soon as possible.
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 nest egg savings protected. We fight to secure a positive outcome for our clients as they go through the difficult process of divorce at any age.
Equitable Distribution and Retirement Plans in Florida Divorces
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.
Florida courts will follow the guidelines of equitable distribution when dividing up “community property” from a marriage. The is property generally acquired while the couple was married. It usually applies to assets like retirement accounts and investments even if both names aren’t on the account.
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. They look at the length of the marriage, the earning potential of each partner, and the retirement plans that each partner has funded.
Remember, judges are only human. They can make mistakes and unfair decisions. They can be swayed by lawyers for each party.
A judge could provide your spouse with an unfair amount of your 401K earnings or a pension. Robert Sparks Attorneys and their Tampa Senior Divorce Lawyers fight for your rights in a divorce hearing and make sure you can keep a fair share of the retirement money you’ve worked so hard for.
Retirement Asset Concerns in a Divorce Involving Senior Citizens
Older Florida residents may have been saving money for their retirement years for decades. They may have also contributed to a retirement fund for years and are now ready to relax and enjoy the freedom they’ve planned and saved for.
A gray divorce can complicate retirement plans and cause disagreements over how retirement money should be distributed. The value of retirement accounts can vary greatly depending on when they are cashed in.
Your Robert Sparks Attorney representative can guide you through this confusing process. These are some of the accounts and obstacles we’ll make sure are handled correctly for the benefit of our divorce client:
- 401Ks and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and Roth IRAs
- The sale of a family home and property for retirement security
- Taxes on Retirement funds cashed in
When a retirement fund is cashed in so it can be divided between partners going through a divorce, a high tax bill may come due. This tax burden shouldn’t unfairly punish one person or another. There are proper steps to take to lessen the impact tax obligations have on your retirement funds.
Robert Sparks Attorneys can help you find the best methods for dealing with retirement savings to reduce the tax penalties you get hit with.
Dividing 401K Benefits During a Gray Divorce
The division of 401k and IRA benefits between senior citizens in a divorce can go in many different directions.
First, the portion of a retirement account that can be considered “marital property” must be determined. This means that 401K contributions made before the marriage may be ruled as belonging to the policyholder alone. The spouse wouldn’t get any of that portion of the account.
The retirement money put away during the marriage could be counted as “community property” and would be available for a Judge to divide up.
Those going through a divorce who aren’t quite at official retirement age might have to decide if they’ll take their share of retirement funds now in a lump sum or will wait until retirement benefits begin to pay out in their 60s.
Our Tampa Senior Divorce Attorneys know the ins and outs of how a Florida court will handle your case. We work to maximize the benefits for our clients going through divorce. We want our clients to emerge from divorce with the economic stability to rebuild their lives and fully enjoy their retirement years.
Social Security Benefits in a Senior Divorce
Rules set forth by the Federal Government will decide if spouses can take social security benefits with them after a divorce.
As the Social Security Administration (SSA) explains, if you are married for 10 years or more, you have a right to social security benefits based on your ex-spouse’s work record. If you also qualify for social security on your own work record, the SSA would pay you whatever would be the highest amount. You wouldn’t receive both payouts.
Divorced spouses who remarry can’t file for social security benefits under an ex-spouse’s record unless the next marriage ends in divorce or the death of a spouse.
Contact a Tampa Senior Divorce Lawyer with Questions About Retirement Savings
Going through a divorce can be one of the most stressful events of your life. It’s especially difficult when you have to go through it at a time when you are planning your life in retirement.
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 secure the best possible outcome in your divorce. Our lawyers also stand ready to make sure your retirement assets are protected.
Learn more about what we can do to help you by contacting us and scheduling a free senior divorce consultation today. We protect those going through divorce in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Dade City, and the surrounding areas.