If you are over age 50 and you are contemplating divorce, know that you are not alone. Divorces amongst those ages 50 and older are expected to triple by 2030 from their numbers in 1990. This type of divorce is referred to as a “gray divorce.”
One major concern many older adults have about divorce is how their split will affect their finances. They may be nearing or in retirement and are currently living on a fixed income that might change after their dissolution. The following are some financial considerations that older adults considering divorce might want to keep in mind so they can ensure they are prepared for their financial future post-divorce.
Property division post-divorce
Married couples who both worked during their lifetimes should be aware that most of the income they earned, the assets they accumulated and the debt they incurred is likely considered marital property. Both spouses have an equal ownership interest in marital assets, which will be divided in a divorce.
Florida is considered an equitable distribution state when it comes to property division in a divorce. In Florida, the court will start with the presumption that all marital property should be split evenly between the spouses.
However, the court will also consider circumstances that might warrant an uneven division of assets. If these circumstances warrant a deviation from the presumption of an equal split, the court might award a greater share of property to one spouse over the other. This is known as “equitable distribution.”
Planning for property division
Spouses in Florida should be prepared for the likelihood that they will need to make living arrangements and financial arrangements based on the outcome of the property division process.
For example, if their spouse was awarded the marital home, they will need to find affordable housing based on their post-divorce income. This may mean moving to a smaller home or renting an apartment.
Even if a spouse is awarded the family home in the property division process, they will want to ensure they can afford the expenses of homeownership on their post-divorce income. They might have to pay the mortgage on their own, but even if the house is paid off, they will still owe property taxes, pay for homeowner’s insurance and incur the costs associated with maintaining the home. Planning for these potential expenses ahead of time can help a spouse make wise decisions.