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The First Wives Of Florida Need An Estate Plan Now More Than Ever


Divorce is a bummer.  Estate planning is also a bummer in the beginning, because it requires you to confront the fact that you have a limited amount of time left on Earth and a limited amount of money left to support you throughout it.  Divorce lawyer websites make divorce look glamorous; they make it sound like all you have to do is sit down with your lawyer and do some paperwork, and soon you will be sitting at a beachside restaurant with your friends, drinking a toast to independent women everywhere.  No one who was living paycheck to paycheck while married suddenly gets rich by getting divorced, although disentangling your finances from those of your spendthrift spouse can have a positive effect on your financial wellbeing in the long term.  Therefore, your divorce will probably not be as fabulous as your lawyer’s website is making it sound.  No matter your age, divorce is one of the most compelling reasons to update your estate plan, even though most people do not follow this advice.  Florida’s new laws regarding alimony put elderly women who divorced after a long marriage in a vulnerable financial situation, making it even more important than ever to update their estate plans.  If you are relieved to be out of a bad marriage, but you are dreading making the necessary updates to your estate plan, contact an Orlando estate planning lawyer.

When Your Ex-Spouse and the State Each Say That You Are the Other’s Problem

After years of heated debate in courtrooms and in the media, Florida abolished permanent alimony in 2023 by enacting SB 1416.  Before this law went into effect, couples who had been married at least 17 years could agree in their marital settlement agreements (MSAs) that one spouse would make alimony payments to the other each month until one of the parties died or the recipient spouse remarried.  Judges could also order permanent alimony if, without it, the recipient spouse would have no means of financial support except public assistance.  When judges order alimony, they account for the amount of money that the recipient spouse is able to earn through employment.

Even before SB 1416, Florida’s permanent alimony recipients were hardly living on easy street.  Many of them remained in the workforce past age 65 because their permanent alimony awards were so modest that this was the only way they could make ends meet, even when their bodies and their doctors were urging them to retire.

Besides abolishing permanent alimony, SB 1416 also sets guidelines for courts to modify alimony when the paying spouse retires.  All of this means that the rising generation of Florida seniors will receive less alimony, so the time is now to meet with an estate planning lawyer to make realistic plans about your finances in your golden years.

Contact Gierach and Gierach About Estate Planning After Gray Divorce

An estate planning lawyer can help you revise your estate plan after getting divorced late in life.  Contact Gierach and Gierach, P.A. in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.



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