We’ve mentioned before that there is a rising movement in this country to reform alimony, particularly permanent alimony. Many of the traditional views towards divorce are being challenged and courts are looking at family law decisions in a new way. One area that is being looked at is so-called “gray divorce” or divorce involving a couple approaching retirement age.
Gray divorces tend to be fairly straightforward when it comes to property division. If the couple has been married twenty or more years, then generally all assets are considered marital assets and the settlement statement software divides everything down the middle. There are a few “who gets what” details to hammer out but the base calculations are clear-cut.
Alimony is where things can get complicated. On the surface it may seem equally simple: long marriage equals permanent alimony. Plug the numbers into the divorce planning software and get a number. However the flaw in this argument is it assumes the paying spouse is going to continue working forever without retiring.
A couple in their 30s has enough working years left that the payer can save to compensate for the expense of permanent alimony even after retirement. What about a couple in their 60s? Is it fair for a spouse nearing the end of a career to be saddled with a major expense that may prevent retirement?
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Family law attorneys should think ahead in cases like this to avoid being back in court in a few years for an alimony adjustment. After all, retirement shouldn’t come as a surprise. Everyone knows it’s coming and the attorney should consider that when crafting alimony scenarios in the divorce software. It would be better to incorporate future retirement plans into the current spousal support agreement rather than have to renegotiate down the road.
This kind of forward thinking shouldn’t be limited to retirement. If there are any known future events that will significantly change either spouse’s financial situation, it’s better to plan for them now rather than later. Attorneys can use divorce settlement software to create several possible alimony and property division scenarios, making it easier to find an agreement that is acceptable to both parties.
Planning ahead saves both you and your client time and money. Call Easysoft at 800-905-7638 to find out more ways that our law practice management software gives you more control over your firm and your cases so you can practice law more effectively.