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.

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