The Silver Split: Navigating the Issues of Grey Divorce

Grey divorce is a complex legal phenomenon, often with major financial and emotional implications. It occurs when a couple decides to divorce, splitting their assets and debts after a long-term marriage, usually after the age of 50. Deciding to end a marriage as an older couple is increasingly common, perhaps due to changing social norms or increased life expectancy. Divorce is never easy, but when reshaping family dynamics later in life, a dissolution of marriage presents unique challenges. 

Common Reasons for Later-in-Life Divorce

Older couples often have difficulty adjusting to being “empty nesters” after the children are grown and moved away, causing frustration and feelings of loss. Financial disputes over retirement options, such as the saving or spending of investments and retirement funds, can cause irreconcilable differences. Other reasons for a “split” may be intimacy issues, domestic abuse, or general feelings of growing apart. Whatever the reason for an impending divorce, you must have knowledgeable legal counsel to safeguard your interests.

Empathetic Legal Support when Facing Grey Divorce

At McGee Law, PLLC, our legal team tailors our approach to the needs of our clients. We understand the emotional turmoil of those navigating this transition in a grey divorce, and we will be there to support and guide you throughout the process. Untangling debts and assets after decades of combining your finances sounds daunting. However, we explain your options for every situation and advocate on your behalf to achieve the best outcome. Whether facing a contested or uncontested divorce, let us help you on this path toward a new life.

Assets to Consider in a Grey Divorce:

  • Cash
  • Retirement Accounts
  • Stocks, Bonds, CDs, and other investments
  • Business Entities
  • Prepaid College Accounts for Grandchildren
  • Inheritances
  • Real Estate
  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Personal Items of Value

To claim ownership of assets, separate from marital property in a Florida divorce, you must have proof such as pre- or postnuptial agreements, inheritance records, or bank statements.

Debts to Consider in a Grey Divorce:

  • Mortgages
  • Credit Cards
  • Car and Personal Loans
  • Tax Debts and Liens
  • Monthly Living Expenses
  • Other Debts Acquired During the Marriage

Alimony

Alimony is generally court-ordered for an ex-spouse in need of post-marriage support when the higher-earning spouse has the financial ability to pay. The court grants spousal support on a case-by-case basis. Florida law eliminated permanent alimony in 2023, which means that alimony payments have a specified end date. Our legal team can argue for durational, rehabilitative, temporary, or bridge-the-gap alimony, depending on the circumstances.

Updating Your Estate Plans

When considering a divorce, estate planning is often overlooked. However, the documents created during your marriage must be revised or rewritten to reflect your current situation. Failure to update your estate plan may lead to unintended beneficiaries inheriting your money or property. Although Florida will automatically disinherit your ex-spouse from a will or revocable trust, there may be other beneficiaries you wish to eliminate or change.

Beneficiary designations on bank accounts, deferred compensation plans, annuities, stock options, and insurance policies should be revised to reflect your current wishes. An advanced directive, including a health care surrogate or living will, is your voice for health care and end-of-life decision-making when you cannot express your wishes. If you have named your ex-spouse as your agent, it is vital to appoint a new agent that you trust to speak for you if you are incapacitated. A power of attorney needs to be updated with an agent you trust to make financial decisions if you are mentally or physically unable to handle your affairs.

Your Trusted Divorce and Estate Planning Law Firm in Palm Coast, Florida

At McGee Law, PLLC, our compassionate approach can help alleviate much of the anxiety and stress you may feel due to this major life transition. We take the time to listen to your concerns and straightforwardly explain your options so you are completely informed when making decisions. We work within your budget to meet your needs without compromising on quality. As an experienced divorce and estate planning law firm, McGee Law, PLLC, can help you navigate the complexities of the legal process and ensure your assets are protected for the future.

Contact the experienced legal team at McGee Law, PLLC, at (386) 320-7300 to schedule an appointment at one of our Palm Coast, Florida offices. Your future is our focus.

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