Although statistics show divorces among younger age groups are expected, shockingly, divorces among the baby boomer generation are twice as likely than they were 20 years prior. This increase in, what has been coined as “gray divorces” has caused many attorneys and courts to reevaluate some of the understanding and interpretation of certain statutes. The statutory factors surrounding divorces may be weighed differently when considering a gray divorce in comparison to those of the younger generation. Among these differences is your eligibility for alimony. If you feel your age may affect your alimony award, contact an Orlando Divorce Attorney who specializes in crafting alimony orders for divorcees of all ages.
When first determining an alimony award, the court must make a factual finding that one party has a need for financial support and the respective party has the ability to pay. 61.08 After this initial determination, the court will look at numerous different factors to find the proper type of award as well as the amount necessary. These factors include:
(a) The standard of living established during the marriage.
(b) The duration of the marriage.
(c) The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
(d) The financial resources of each party, including the nonmarital and the marital assets and liabilities distributed to each.
(e) The earning capacities, educational levels, vocational skills, and employability of the parties and, when applicable, the time necessary for either party to acquire sufficient education or training to enable such party to find appropriate employment.
(f) The contribution of each party to the marriage, including, but not limited to, services rendered in homemaking, child care, education, and career building of the other party.
(g) The responsibilities each party will have with regard to any minor children they have in common.
(h) The tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a nontaxable, nondeductible payment.
(i) All sources of income available to either party, including income available to either party through investments of any asset held by that party.
(j) Any other factor necessary to do equity and justice between the parties.
As an older couple, there are certain factors that will hold more weight with the court than the younger counterparts. For instance, the standard of living established during a marriage for older couples may be significantly higher, as they typically have a longer time to acquire assets and funding to support such a living. Many gray divorces are occurring after 30+ years of marriage. This entails a significant time period to build savings, retirement plans, and acquire property. Further, this length of marriage falls well within the bounds of a long term marriage, making permanent alimony awards a higher possibility.
Further, the age of the parties is a factor that is extremely significant when determining employability. A spouse who is in their 30s will have a much higher probability of entering the workforce and becoming financially independent, and the court would be able to craft a rehabilitation plan for a spouse to become productive and financially independent from their spouse. Meanwhile, a spouse who is in their 60s is less likely to be employable and may have to only rely on social security as their income. This can significantly impact an alimony award. As an older adult, you may be approaching or already collecting retirement. Both social security and retirement benefits will be considered when the court addresses a proper alimony award in any case.
Finally, as you age, your health may deteriorate and greatly affect your ability to be financially independent. When considering an alimony award, the court will look to the physical condition of the parties. You may have physical limitations that prevent you from working or may require significant medical attention. Further, many older couples are on disability due to their health deterioration and this too will be necessary to consider when crafting your alimony award.
If you are considering a divorce at any age, ensure you are protected and employ the skills of a knowledgeable and experienced Orlando Divorce Attorney to answer questions concerning your divorce and the possibility of alimony.
Speaking to an attorney at our office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 407-512-0887 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.