When a marriage comes to an end, it is usually because two people are unable to work through their differences, or when the actions of one have rendered the marriage irretrievably broken. There are cases, however, when a Florida couple will seek to divorce even when both spouses are happy with their relationship. Those cases may be few in number, but the issues facing the couples involved deserve the attention of many.
Consider, for example, a couple that is well into their retirement years, and where one spouse is experiencing declining health. Seeking solutions, they approach various facilities that offer residential care. Because the couple has worked hard and set aside a small amount of savings over the years, they don’t qualify for Medicaid assistance. That can leave them with no access to an affordable long-term care option.
If residential care is a pressing need, such a couple would have two main options. They could spend down their savings and potentially sell their home to cover the cost of care before they reach the Medicaid threshold. Or, they could file for divorce, and structure their property division in such a way that would allow the ailing spouse to qualify for Medicaid assistance. That would also allow the other spouse to retain the bulk of marital assets, thus preserving the family home and savings.
No Florida family wants to be faced with this type of difficult decision, but it is an issue that faces many couples across the state. With the future of the Affordable Care Act uncertain, Medicaid access could change in the coming months or years. That might leave more couples considering divorce after many years of a happy and healthy marriage.
Source: news.ku.edu, “Medicaid expansion possibly reduced ‘medical divorces,’ KU economists find“, George Diepenbrock, Feb. 15, 2017