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How older spouses can financially prepare for divorce

Florida seniors who decide to get divorced have different concerns than younger couples. While younger couples are often in the middle of parenthood and have to deal with custody and support issues, older divorcees often focus on property division to secure a more stable retirement.

Property division can get complicated, especially when the process requires analyzing high-asset retirement and pension accounts. Division for many of these is not done on a 50/50 split. Instead, there are rules that must be followed since the consequences can mean one ex receiving a large, unexpected tax bill or getting much less financially. This includes 401(k) accounts and pensions, both of which require qualified domestic relations orders for proper division and transfer. IRAs work differently, and their division must be detailed in the settlement agreement.

Social security benefits, which are not considered marital property, can also impact the financial negotiations for property division. In cases where one spouse worked less and focused on the home, the difference in benefit amount might be made through other assets. For higher-earning couples, the process of property division can be even more delicate; each partner might have several 401(k)s in their names and other retirement accounts.

Florida residents who are older and have decided to pursue a divorce can seek legal guidance. Particularly when dealing with older spouses, getting the division of property right during the negotiations is central to securing a stable retirement. A lawyer can help a client understand the rules involved with each type of account, plan for finances once the divorce is final and provide representation in court if necessary.

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