Special Considerations for Senior Citizens Seeking a Divorce
There is no ‘normal’ time to get divorced in Orlando. Every couple’s circumstances are unique, with some marriages lasting a single year, and other lasting multiple decades. If you are a senior citizen thinking about divorce, you are certainly not alone. Here, our Central Florida family law team has put together a list of four issues that all seniors should keep in mind when considering divorce.
- The Kids Still Matter
Most, but not all, senior citizens do not have minor children. As such, child custody and child visitation are not generally areas of concern in these types of divorce cases. That being said, your children, if you have any, still matter. Even though they may be well out of the house, a divorce can still be a sensitive, highly emotional issue. You need to always handle the process with extreme care, keeping everyone’s feelings in mind to preserve strong familial relationships.
- Alimony is Often Awarded
Under Florida law, alimony is much more likely to be awarded following the end of a long-term marriage. Indeed, even if neither spouse is still working, alimony might be an issue depending on the specific facts of the case. The most important thing that senior couples need to remember about alimony is that Florida courts usually put an emphasis on protecting the interests of the financially vulnerable spouse following a long-term divorce.
- Be Ready for the Complexity of Dealing With Retirement Accounts
For a variety of reasons, dividing retirement accounts in divorce is an extremely complex issue. All retirement assets, including Social Security benefits, can be subject to equitable distribution in Florida. This means that each spouse’s retirement account, regardless of whose name is on it, will likely be considered a marital asset for the purposes of the divorce. You need to work with an attorney who will be able to ensure that you not only get a fair share of the retirement assets, but also that your retirement accounts are handled properly so that you are not subject to unnecessary tax penalties and so that you do not miss out on any available benefits.
- Housing Can Be More Challenging
The family home is a key issue in most divorce cases, though it is a particularly important issue for senior citizens. First, on average, the family home is usually a more valuable asset for seniors. As seniors tend to have lived in their homes for more time, they also tend to have built up more equity in the property, with many having paid off the home entirely. Additionally, many seniors have a stronger emotional attachment to their home, not wanting to move away. Finally, in some cases, it can also be more difficult to find the appropriate housing for seniors following their divorce. The bottom line is that you must give careful thought to what will happen to the family home and each spouse’s future living arrangements early on in the divorce process.
Get Family Law Help in Central Florida Now
At the Law Offices of Steve W. Marsee, P.A., we have helped many people in the Orlando area through their divorce. Our team has the skills and experience needed to protect your rights and interests. If you are a senior citizen in Central Florida, seeking divorce assistance, please do not hesitate to call us today at 407-521-7171 to request your confidential initial case evaluation.