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Orlando Divorce Law Blog

Who gets the house in a gray divorce?

If you're divorcing later in life, there's a good chance you share a house with your spouse. Since this is likely to be one of your most valuable assets, questions about who gets to stay put are sure to move to the forefront.

There is no right or wrong way of deciding who gets the house in a gray divorce. Instead, there are many options to consider, all of which have pros and cons:

  • One person stays and the other goes: If this happens, the person who stays will likely have to give up other assets in order to make up for the difference.
  • Sell the home: This is often the easiest approach, as it allows you to sell the home together and then split any proceeds.
  • The person who purchased the home stays: For example, maybe you purchased the home with separate funds before getting married. In this case, you own 100 percent of the home and have the legal right to ask the other person to leave.

Financial assets can complicate the divorce process

Divorcing couples must address a variety of assets during the divorce process. For many people, financial assets pose the biggest challenge. These are often the most valuable, leading both individuals to focus on them.

There are many types of financial assets, including:

  • Cash on hand
  • Bank accounts
  • Retirement accounts
  • Pensions
  • Educational accounts
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Mutual funds
  • Certificates of deposit (CD)
  • Annuities
  • Profit sharing
  • Life insurance policy cash values

Dividing your artwork: Divorce tips

If you're an art collector, or if you and your spouse made a collection together during your marriage, it can become very hard to split it up. After all, you have an emotional and sentimental connection to some of those pieces. It's about more than just the money. And, even with an appraisal, you may not agree on exactly what a certain piece is worth. How can you divide a set if you're not even sure about the value of each individual piece?

It's definitely hard, and there may not be any easy answers. That said, these tips can help you work your way through the process:

  • Do have an appraisal done. Never assume that whatever you paid for any particular piece is what it is still worth.
  • Make a list of pieces, taking inventory of everything that you have. You do not want to forget anything if it's a substantial collection.
  • Never hide anything, whether it's information or an actual piece of artwork. This can constitute fraud, and you never want to do it. Disclose everything and seek a fair resolution in court.
  • Remember that you can sometimes barter with other assets. Maybe you really want an expensive piece, but you don't care about your share of the vacation home. You may be able to give your ex full control of the real estate in exchange for the artwork you want.

Make these changes to your estate plan after a gray divorce

If you go through the divorce process later in life, such as after you retire, it's imperative to make a variety of changes to your estate plan. Neglecting to do so could result in a number of challenges and mistakes, such as your ex-spouse receiving your assets upon your death.

Here are several changes to make to your estate plan after a gray divorce:

  • Review your will and/or trust: For example, you may need to remove your ex-spouse as the executor of your will or trustee.
  • Think about your children: If you have any children under the age of 18, think about creating a trust for them. Also, consider naming a guardian in your estate plan.
  • Review your life insurance policies: Before your divorce, your spouse may be named as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy. If you don't change this designation after your divorce, your ex will still be in line to receive your death benefit. Contact your life insurance company to learn more about the process of changing your beneficiary.
  • Think about the future: If you're interested in remarrying, take steps to avoid future complications. For example, you can create a prenuptial agreement to avoid unnecessary challenges if your next marriage ends in divorce.

Visitation after divorce: How can you make it better?

Many things will change for your children after divorce. For example, they have to get used to living with one parent instead of both. While this is a big change, with the right approach, you can ease the stress and help everyone live a more enjoyable life.

Here is a handful of things you can do to ensure that visits are more pleasant:

  • Maintain a positive attitude: If your children get the sense that you don't want them to visit their other parent, they won't look forward to it. However, if you show them that it's a good idea, they're more likely to get on board with the plan.
  • Stick to the schedule: It doesn't matter if you're dropping your children off or expecting them for the day, you know the schedule and what it entails. If you continually ignore the schedule that you have in place, your ex-spouse has every right to become aggravated.
  • Don't argue in front of your children: Even if you have a disagreement that you need to discuss with your ex, don't do it with your children around. This increases tension and stress levels, making the visitation more difficult on everyone.

How to talk to adult children about gray divorce

There has been a substantial increase in the number of couples over the age of 50 who divorce. Many baby boomers realize they still have 30 or 40 years left to live, and they do not want to spend that time with their spouses any longer. Additionally, they feel like divorce will be easier because all of their kids are out of the house. 

However, it is vital to realize divorce will always affect your children no matter how old they are. Before pursuing a divorce any further, both parents need to talk to their adult children to keep them in the loop. There are some things parents should expect with this conversation. 

What are the most common reasons for elderly divorce?

As you pass retirement age and begin to think about the future, you may have questions about your marriage. Do you want to remain married to this person for the rest of your life? Is now the best time to consider a divorce?

Elderly divorce is more common than many people believe, and there are several reasons why this often comes to light:

  • Infidelity: As a person gets older, they may begin to realize that they don't want to spend the rest of their life with their spouse of many years. This can lead to infidelity, which has long been one of the most common causes of divorce.
  • Different goals: Maybe you're interested in traveling the world, while your spouse wants to stick around home and relax. If you're unable to find a compromise, you could soon drift apart.
  • An empty nest: Once your children move out for good, it goes without saying that your home won't be the same. It's at this time that you'll either grow closer together or further apart.
  • Too much time together: If both you and your spouse retire, you'll spend more time together than ever before. While this sounds great, it can eventually lead to an increase in arguments and seeking time apart (maybe on a permanent basis).

A checklist can help with complex asset division

For many people, the biggest concern with the asset division process is organization. This is particularly true among those who have complex assets, such as a variety of retirement accounts or real estate all over the world.

With the help of a checklist, you can organize your separate and marital property upfront. By doing so, it's easier to make informed decisions and have successful negotiations as the divorce process pushes forward.

Why has there been an increase in senior divorces?

Most people know about the "seven-year itch," the time when many marriages endure a lot of strain that could result in a divorce. If a marriage can endure these first seven years and last the next seven without a problem, it should be good until the end of life, right? Not so fast.

According to certain statistics, divorce numbers for spouses who are 50 years of age and older have more than doubled compared to 20 years ago. Experts suspect that the following reasons could be the cause:

Co-parents: What if a better life awaits in another state?

Sometimes, a change in location is just the thing you need to radically transform your life -- and the life of your child. Maybe you're in Florida, and your career specialty doesn't have any opportunities here. Maybe you received a once-in-a-lifetime job opportunity that will pay you so much more income that it will improve the kind of life you can provide for your kids.

All of these possibilities sound incredible -- unless you're a co-parent who has to consider the wishes of the other parent before you make a move. In most parenting agreements and court orders that involve shared legal custody, the noncustodial parent will hold a lot of power when it comes to the other parent moving away. A simple "no" is all that's required for the other parent to put a stop to the move.


Mercedes R. Wechsler, P.A.
1212 E. Ridgewood Street
Orlando, FL 32803

Phone: 407-440-0878
Fax: 407-839-0263
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