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Divorce may help gray couples transitioning into retirement

Unexpected financial troubles may cause a married couple over the age of 50 to rethink their retirement plans. Frequently, couples decide that dissolving their marriage could reduce their financial difficulties and provide for a more secure retirement.

Divorce in Alabama generally requires a couple to negotiate property division and give consideration to spousal support. Because retirement may not include plans to work, a divorce may focus on the cash available for day-to-day living. As noted by Financial Advisor Magazine, obtaining the maximum value from marital assets could play an important role in a divorce settlement.

Dividing property under Alabama’s equitable distribution laws

The property and assets a couple acquired together belong to both individuals. Under the state’s divorce laws, a couple must divide their marital property equitably between them. Spouses can negotiate who keeps a particular property or how to divide other assets. Some couples may sell their home, for example, and split its proceeds.

Spouses usually divide their property based on what each individual believes is fair. When couples cannot come to an agreement, a family court judge divides their marital property for them. A judge, however, may not strive to obtain a property’s full market value, and may instead divide assets quickly to dissolve the marriage.

Determining alimony or spousal financial support

An individual may require long-term financial support from his or her soon-to-be ex-spouse. In certain cases, changes made to Alabama’s divorce laws can provide permanent spousal support or maintenance.

As noted by The Yellowhammer News, couples married for at least 20 years could request lifetime alimony to cover “extraordinary circumstances.” A disability or severe medical condition that prevents an individual from working may qualify for permanent spousal support.