Retirement may seem so far away for those focusing on getting divorced right now. After all, navigating a divorce proceeding in Alabama requires a great deal of mental and emotional energy due to the many important decisions that must be made regarding the marital home or spousal support, for example. However, thinking about retirement is essential during divorce as well, as the decisions made during a marital split-up can have long-term implications for one's golden years.
Even if a divorce happens decades before a couple had planned to retire, it can still impact their retirement. In fact, a survey from the Insured Retirement Institute revealed that 24 percent of older individuals who are divorced reported being worse off during retirement as a result of getting divorced. Meanwhile, 23 percent said they expected to have to remain in the workforce longer due to ending their marriages.
In Alabama, retirement funds and other assets are split in an equitable manner. This means a judge will decide how to divide them in the fairest way possible. Unfortunately, each spouse will lose a chunk of the assets, so they must figure out how to make up for such a loss in the years leading up to retirement.
Relying on a judge in Alabama to decide how retirement assets will be split can be unnerving, as the judge may have a very different idea of what is equitable compared with the spouses. For this reason, a couple may benefit from doing informal negotiations to achieve a settlement with which they both feel comfortable. An attorney can offer guidance during negotiations or even during the divorce trial in an effort to ensure that one's best interests are ultimately protected during a divorce proceeding.
Source: madison.com, "Can Divorce Destroy Your Retirement?", Wendy Connick, Oct. 13, 2017