A “gray divorce” is the phrase that is sometimes used to refer to divorce between older adults, and it carries its own set of unique challenges. People in Florida who are close to retirement or already retired do not have the luxury of years in the workforce ahead to recover from financial losses after divorce. Furthermore, couples’ finances may be complicated after decades together.

In order to determine what type of settlement would be appropriate, people should start by compiling a list of all assets and debts. Appraisals might be necessary for some types of property, such as art or jewelry. Next, people should consider their post-retirement needs. After a divorce, some retired people may decide they want to start a foundation in the community, travel or do something else very different from the life they were leading.

Splitting retirement accounts may be one major part of property division, and individuals should make sure they observe all rules associated with how these accounts are supposed to be divided in a divorce. These differ based on whether they are 401(k)s, IRAs or other accounts. Some people may need to save up an emergency fund while others may need to think about the financial help they want to make available for their children or grandchildren. After the divorce, people may need to change estate plans and other paperwork.

Couples may be able to amicably negotiate an agreement for divorce. For many people, this is preferable to going to litigation, which can be adversarial. It also takes control over the final agreement out of the hands of the couple. Their attorneys may be able to assist with negotiations. An attorney might also be able to help an individual stay focused on the financial side of these negotiations instead of becoming overwhelmed by emotions.