Property division in a gray divorce may be even more important

It is never an easy decision to end a marriage, especially after many years together. While the divorce process can be complicated at any age, proceedings that occur after many years of marriage may intensify during property division negotiations. Florida residents who are facing a so-called ‘gray’ divorce may have many concerns about how it will impact their finances.

One consideration may be whether a spouse may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits based on their former spouse’s earnings. There are rules and conditions that apply, but if there are no impediments, then one may be entitled to receive up to 50 percent of the value of their ex-spouse’s Social Security benefits. The good news is that the spouse whose work record is relied upon for Social Security will still receive his or her own full benefits. There may also be retirement or pension accounts that are subject to division, and there are rules and procedures that will need to be followed when dividing these particular assets.

Health care is an important consideration regardless of age, but for those who are older, this insurance coverage often takes on even greater importance. Those whose insurance was previously under a spouse’s plan may be able to continue coverage under COBRA, though this option is relatively short-term and usually costly. Finding new insurance could prove to be difficult if pre-existing health conditions are a factor. Along with health insurance, some couples may also have long-term care insurance to work through, depending on existing policies and their particular circumstances.

When couples divorce later in life, there are many additional factors that will need to be addressed during the asset and property division phase of their proceedings. Because these divorces are occur much closer to retirement age, each spouse may benefit from taking careful stock of their financial position in order to gauge how best to proceed. An experienced Florida attorney can offer guidance and ongoing support with a view toward achieving a settlement that will place the client on sound financial footing.

Prenuptial agreements can be as unique as the couple

The concept of a premarital contract has been around for centuries, especially among the wealthy and well-connected families. However, the millennial generation has been credited for changing many traditions including marriage. They are living proof that prenuptial agreements can be as unique as the parties involved. Since these contracts are increasing in popularity, Florida residents may be interested in learning more about the protections they can offer.

When one hears of a prenuptial agreement, it it often assumed that the parties involved are either celebrities or have significant assets to protect. In reality, almost any couple can employ these contracts for a variety of reasons, including the protection of a business or even intellectual property. There are many individuals who have nurtured the idea of setting up a business and want to ensure that they do not lose sight of their dreams and hard work simply because a marriage did not work out.

Each couple can draft an agreement that best meets their specific needs so long as the terms are not illegal or violate public policy. Since many millennials postpone marriage until they have achieved their personal and career goals, they may have significant assets that they wish to retain. A carefully constructed prenup can address all the assets and personal details that apply to a particular couple’s needs.

An important note is that for a prenuptial agreement to be valid, both partners should have separate legal representatives to ensure that each one’s best interest is provided for in an in equitable manner. It is also recommended that the discussion and planning for these contracts is started several months before the wedding in order for the couple to have enough time to thoroughly review their needs. Florida residents who want more information about drafting prenuptial agreements may be best served by contacting an attorney who has extensive experience in creating prenups that can protect those assets that are most important to the parties involved.

A collaborative law divorce may make process less painful

As another year winds down and children look forward to the holiday seasons, not every family is focused on upholding family traditions. Instead, there may be many Florida families who are preparing for a divorce with all of the anticipated work and stress that often accompanies the process. For those whose circumstances allow, a collaborative law divorce may help ease the some of the stress for all of the parties involved.

Parents who are divorcing have many concerns about how the process will impact their children, both now and in the future. In addition, they also worry about their financial stability once the final decree has been granted. However, some of these concerns may be relieved through the support of a collaborative approach. This type of dissolution involves several team members who each can provide specialized guidance and information that can help both spouses and children deal with the effects of the divorce.

A certified financial professional can help the divorcing couple assess their future financial needs and may be able to help the parties arrive at an agreement that will allow each of them to meet those needs and stay on track to achieve their financial goals. In addition, teams may also include professionals who can help assess the needs of the children and contribute their input into how to help them through the transition process. The efforts of trained professionals are focused on lessening the stress and workload on families during the divorce.

Not every family’s situation will lend itself to a collaborative law approach to divorce. If the two sides are unable to work amicably due to abuse or other concerning behaviors, then a more traditional divorce may be required. However, for Florida residents who are looking for ways to reduce the emotional trauma to their children and are able to work together effectively, this type of divorce may be an ideal solution. 

Those in a high asset divorce may worry about preserving business

The hard work and effort that one puts into building a business is often hard to measure concretely. However, when a business owner finds him- or herself facing a high asset divorce, having a solid plan in place can preserve the company’s future. Florida residents who are preparing to file a divorce petition have some tools that may help safeguard their business.

One of the first tools is a prenuptial agreement. Though these contracts used to be common only among the wealthiest, or celebrities, they have become more mainstream. In the event that a spouse has worked to build a business before marriage, a prenup can ensure that the other spouse can be compensated with other assets while protecting a company’s future. If a business was started after a marriage, the parties may be able to enter into a postnuptial agreement that spells out how each party can be accommodated without having to dismantle the company.

Along with a prenup between the spouses, it is recommended that larger business plans include a divorce clause. This can stipulate how a former spouse will be compensated without compromising the company’s future. Another suggestion is for a business owner to come to a decision regarding how a business will be valuated. There are three methods of doing so, and each may arrive at a different value, depending on the nature of the business.

Some business owners may be tempted to reduce their company’s value. Doing so may backfire, as a court could rule that the owner provides for the other spouse based on the value of the company before the actions were taken. Lastly, professionals recommend that a business owner seeks to determine the true worth of his or her company before filing for a dissolution. Florida residents preparing for a high asset divorce may be best served by consulting an experienced family law attorney who can help draft a settlement agreement that best meets their needs.

Divorce can lead to financial and property division mistakes

The prospect of freedom from a bad marriage can lead the former spouses to make impulsive decisions that can result in long-lasting financial problems. Clear thinking during property division and afterward can avoid common mistakes. Florida residents facing a dissolution may benefit from the assistance of experienced professionals.

In many situations, spouses may fight over the ownership of a home. If the property has been owned for some time and has accumulated value, it may make financial sense for one spouse to retain ownership. However, if the home has negative equity or will be a financial hardship to maintain, it may be a fiscally sound decision to sell it. Likewise, if an IRA account will be divided in a divorce, choosing to roll over the portion into a separate IRA account can avoid costly tax consequences and penalties.

Furthermore, not tapping into cash reserves set aside for future plans will avoid the tax complications that can be a result of cashing out retirement savings. Some may be tempted to engage in shopping therapy in an effort to boost their emotions. However, the costs of these purchases can result in financial setbacks since the payments may be outside the scope of a tighter budget. There are also some who may quit a job in an effort to avoid alimony payments, which will have a negative impact on financial well-being.

There are looming changes to the tax laws that may negatively impact finances, but careful planning can help offset some of these problems. Lastly, financial professionals urge those going through a divorce to draft financial plans that can help ensure goals will be met in the future. Florida residents who are going through a divorce are encouraged to make careful decisions during the property division in order to preserve a stable financial future. An experienced attorney can provide assistance in drafting a suitable settlement agreement.