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Gray divorce may mean rethinking retirement plans

Tampa residents who have gone through a divorce understand the huge impact it can have on your life, both emotionally and financially. Some divorces are relatively simple, and some can become more complex when extensive assets and children are involved.

Recently, divorce rates for the baby boomer generation has increased greatly, leading many to evaluate the potential financial implications. Typically, couples who have been together for a number of years have acquired more property, and their assets are intermingled. So called "gray" divorcees have to wade through marital property, real estate, business assets, retirement plans, pensions, and 401(k)s when divorcing.

Recent data suggests that divorce doubled from 1990 to 2012 for couples 50 or older. While there are numerous possibilities as to the reasoning for the staggering increase in divorce, it is certain that divorces later in life for some can be economically devastating. A couples retirement fund will be divided equitably and have to cover the cost of two households rather than one. As a result, many older divorcees are forced to delay retirement or alter their planned lifestyle for retirement.

As a result of the heightened financial concerns of divorce later in life, hiring a financial adviser in addition to a divorce lawyer may help in creating a feasible and economical plan for the future. Additionally, consciously recognizing that your new lifestyle will be different will help you adapt to the changes to come.

When considering how your assets will be divided, it is important to understand the basics. Florida is an equitable distribution jurisdiction, which means that a judge will evaluate your divorce assets, and decide what is equitable in division. This does not mean that property will be divided equally, but rather in consideration of a number of factors including who is a higher earning spouse, who is employed, and other issues. For many couples who have been together a long time, it will mean that the divorce process could potentially be extended because of the complex asset division.

Divorce may signify the end of one relationship, but it may mean starting an entirely new and exciting chapter of your life. An attorney can help to evaluate your case and advise you on how to begin the process.

Source: USA Today, "Boomer divorce: A costly retirement roadblock," Feb. 26, 2013

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Busciglio & Sheridan Law Group
3302 N. Tampa Street
Tampa, FL 33603

Phone: 813-302-1265
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