Alimony & Gray Divorces

An elderly couple sits on a bench overlooking rolling hills

In the last decade, there has been a substantial increase in the number of “gray divorces being filed by baby boomers nationwide. A gray divorce refers to spouses who decide to get divorced after 20+ years of marriage. While the divorce rate in the United States has declined for most age groups, the over-50’s crowd has nearly doubled.

Baby boomers often cite the following reasons for their divorces:

  • They’ve grown apart as people
  • They want to develop new romantic relationships with other people
  • They can’t agree when it comes to spending/saving money
  • Their individual lifestyles have significantly changed
  • They have incompatible sex drives
  • They can’t get over past regrets

Florida is a popular retirement destination that bears witness to countless gray divorces each year. With lifespans increasing, it’s becoming more and more common for older people to consider the quality of their lives and the meaning of happiness. However, there are unique complications that are associated with gray divorces, particularly when it comes to alimony.

Determining Alimony

Part of the divorce process is negotiating a spousal support arrangement. If a couple can’t come to an agreement, the court can make a determination on their behalf. However, it’s always preferable if a couple can make an alimony decision that reflect their personal needs and individual financial circumstances.

To determine alimony, the court considers the following:

  • The length of the marriage
  • Marriage contributions
  • The earning capacity of both spouses
  • Each spouse’s retirement age
  • Retirement accounts
  • Age disparity
  • Physical and emotional health
  • Medical issues
  • Shared investments

If alimony is awarded, the paying spouse may want to consider a lump sum payment if they are retired or they don’t have access to regular wages. After all, it’s not realistic to expect an older person to start a new career just to pay alimony. Alternatively, if a divorcing couple shares significant assets, they can adjust their retirement funds and assets to provide adequate support in place of alimony.

Alimony Modifications

Florida law allows modifications whenever a former spouse’s financial circumstances significantly change. For example, when a paying spouse retires, they can request a spousal support modification from the court to account for their decreased income intake. However, if the paying spouse still has significant assets, the court may not agree to the modification.

Learn More by Scheduling a Consultation

If you’re interested in filing for a gray divorce, it’s imperative that you first discuss your personal and financial circumstances with an experienced attorney. During your consultation, our Florida divorce lawyers can explain your legal options and develop a litigation strategy that reflects your legal objectives.  

We provide 24/7 legal services. Contact The Virga Law Firm, P.A. at (800) 822-5170 to schedule a consultation.

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