Late-Life Birmingham Divorce Can Be a Headache

Posted by Steven D. Eversole | Aug 14, 2011 | 0 Comments

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that fewer first-time married couples are hitting their 25th, 30th and 35th anniversaries despite an increase in life expectancies.

The article cites the recent breakups of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver and Al and Tipper Gore, who were married for 25 and 40 years, respectively.

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An Alabama divorce can be difficult regardless of the stage of life a person is in. Whether only married for a few years right out of high school or college or married for decades only to realize they no longer want to remain together, the process can be difficult. But a Birmingham Divorce Attorney, with years of experience in handling this area of law can cushion the blow of divorce through quality representation that can lead to a clean break and sometimes an amicable parting of ways.

The U.S. Census report about couples not making it to long-term anniversaries doesn't indicate the age of the couples, but some divorce attorneys and financial planners are seeing an increase in long-married couples calling it quits.

"As years go by and they get close to retirement age, where they have to be near one another more, one of them realizes they don't want to live the rest of their life in this manner," said Lynn Maier, a divorce attorney in White Plains, N.Y.

Long-married couples who have significant assets to divide can make for a complex divorce process. But it is important to ensure that the partners have enough money and assets to live on in their retirement years because they have little work time left to earn money.

While splitting bank accounts and insurance policies may be straightforward, there are some other assets that may be more difficult to break up, the article suggests.

The house: In the current housing market, regardless of where in the country the divorce is taking place, the house may not be much of an asset. Getting one side to take the house may be a victory for the other side.

The retirement plan: Pensions, 401(k) accounts and retirement accounts are typically titled in one spouse's name, but they are usually considered marital property if acquired during the marriage. It is important in an Alabama divorce to address the specific retirement plan in question, because it may have specific rules.

The family business: Years of hard work and planning may have gone into a joint venture, but now that the couple is splitting, they likely won't want to work together any more. This can be crippling for a business It may be most prudent to agree to a "post-nuptial" agreement that lays out what happens to the business in case of death or divorce.

This is all sound advice and hits on the point of how complex a divorce proceeding can be. Splitting assets can be as difficult sometimes as deciding where the children will live, if they are minors. Dealing with retirement plans, businesses, stock options,  the house, the cars and other property requires the experience and skill of a Birmingham Divorce Lawyer.

Additional Resources:

The ‘Splitting' Headaches of Late-Life Divorce, by Kelly Greene, The Wall Street Journal

About the Author

Steven D. Eversole

J.D., Samford University's Cumberland School of Law, Birmingham, Alabama B.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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