How your Age Factors Into the Court’s Decision Regarding Alimony
Today, it is more popular than ever for couples over the age of 50 to divorce. These divorces are known as “gray divorces” and often, involve vastly different considerations than the considerations courts make for divorces among younger couples.
How old you are at the time of your divorce can have a significant impact on your eligibility for alimony and the specific details of your alimony order. Generally, couples who were married longer and had higher standards of living during their marriages tend to have larger alimony orders, and usually, couples in this position are at least in their mid-forties. Below are a few ways your age will factor into your alimony order decision.
This is the primary factor in determining an appropriate alimony order. In most cases, the court crafts an alimony order that provides the recipient with a financial safety net while he or she completes a degree or vocational training to enter the workforce and become self-sufficient. For an older adult, entering the workforce after being out of it for decades can be extremely difficult due to outdated skills, diminished industry connections, salary needs, and unfortunately, age discrimination. Thus, older adults are often more likely than their younger peers to receive permanent alimony.
Your Health Status and Personal Needs
Your health could be one of the issues that keeps you from seeking full-time employment, regardless of your age. But if you are living with a chronic condition, as 85 percent of older Americans are, the court will consider your financial needs related to the condition when determining your alimony order.
Additionally, personal needs like your need for reliable transportation are considered when determining your alimony order. If you have a disability, the court considers your disability in all contexts, such as how your home must be modified to accommodate the disability and your need for disability aids and services.
Your Target Retirement Date
This point factors into the point above about your employability – how close you are to retirement age is a consideration the court makes when determining your realistic financial needs after your divorce to determine an appropriate alimony order. Additionally, the court will consider your eligibility for social security benefits as well as your former spouse’s eligibility and yours as a divorced spouse.
If your spouse is also nearing retirement, the court considers this fact as well. Not only does your alimony order have to be sufficient to provide for your living expenses, it cannot create an undue financial burden on your former spouse.
What you have saved for retirement is also an important consideration. In your property division order, the court divided your marital retirement savings. How soon you will access those savings and how much of your living expenses they can cover are important considerations for your alimony order.
Work with an Experienced Orlando Divorce Lawyer
To learn more about alimony and other aspects of the divorce process, contact The Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A. today to set up your initial legal consultation with an experienced Orlando divorce lawyer. During your consultation, we will examine your case in detail to determine realistic expectations for your alimony order.