Florida law allows you to get a divorce at any age and without your spouse’s consent. However, there are several potential consequences of ending your marriage if you are 55 or older. These consequences may include the need to go back to work, losing retirement assets or paying alimony to your spouse until one of you die.
Finding work gets harder
Although workers over 40 are protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), it doesn’t mean that employers will rush to hire you. This may be especially true if you have a gap in your work history or have never held a job before because you stayed home while married. Therefore, even if you can find a job, it may not pay enough to cover your bills or fund a future retirement.
Your spouse gets half
Generally speaking, your spouse is entitled to a portion of all marital assets, which may include a retirement account. The marital estate may also include a bank or taxable brokerage account as well as other assets that have a tangible value. Losing these items may force you to get more hours at work or delay your retirement to ensure that you have enough to make ends meet later in life.
What to know about alimony
If you were the breadwinner in the family, you will likely be required to make spousal maintenance payments as part of a divorce settlement. Your spouse’s age and ability to work will likely influence the amount and duration of your support obligation. Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, it’s possible that you’ll be making alimony payments for the rest of your spouse’s life.
A divorce may significantly impact your financial and mental health regardless of when it happens. However, being proactive about ending your marriage may enable you to gather financial and other documents needed to obtain a favorable settlement. This may allow you to retain control of the family home or maintain a comfortable lifestyle.