Most Florida couples do not expect to find themselves unfortunately wading through a divorce after 50 years of marriage. However, it is becoming more common, and presents its own set of unique challenges. Late-in-life divorce is also sometimes referred to as a “silver divorce” or “gray divorce.” Often, these are the result of infidelity, regrets or financial issues that have taken place over a number of years.
An elderly married couple is likely to have accumulated a large number of assets over time, and will need expert guidance in determining their distributions. In addition, those assets are likely co-mingled, meaning that a completely equal distribution is difficult to obtain. In a late-in-life divorce, retirement accounts and social security benefits are priority issues. Also, where high-assets such as the marital home are paid for in full, equity then becomes a factor in negotiations if one party wishes to keep the home.
Other unique considerations in a gray divorce can include the health of the spouses and whether they need ongoing medical treatment, medical insurance policies, life insurance policies, burial plots and whether or not either intends to remarry, as this could affect age-related benefits.
Do not try to negotiate distribution of assets alone. In a marriage that has lasted the majority of a person’s lifetime, there are inevitably going to be sentimental items that will come into negotiations. An experienced divorce attorney can help in creating a mutual agreement that will satisfy both parties, and allow them to enjoy the rest of their days.