The word divorce is often associated with short marriages that were the result of a spontaneous weekend but truthfully, a marriage of any length can end in divorce. When a couple gets divorced after a long marriage, they will likely face issues that may not be present when a couple divorces after only being married for a short time. Below are the three most common issues that come up in divorce cases when a couple has been married for a long time.
Complex Property Division Issues
Property division is a complex issue in any divorce, but the matter becomes particularly complicated when the couple has been married for a long time. Property division relies on dividing marital property between separate property, and this is difficult after a long marriage. Over time, a couple’s separate property is likely to become commingled in joint bank accounts, meaning it may be subject to property division rules, even though it is separate property.
Other property division matters also become more complicated when a couple has been married for a long time. For example, both spouses may have accumulated savings in retirement accounts, and these must also be divided. If the spouses have an estate plan, it is also important to change these, as it is likely that the spouses named each other as beneficiaries.
Complex Spousal Maintenance Issues
Spousal maintenance, also known as alimony, is much more likely to be awarded when a couple divorces after being married for a long time. The duration of the marriage is one of the main factors judges consider when making a decision about maintenance. Judges must follow a standard formula when determining the amount of spousal maintenance to award. However, when a couple has been married for over 20 years, the formula does not include a standard multiplier and the judge will have sole discount about how much to award.
There are a lot of legal terms to consider when getting a divorce after a long marriage, but there are personal ramifications to consider, as well. Over the course of a long marriage, the couple usually accumulates a group of mutual friends. While property will be divided during the divorce proceedings, those friendships will likely become divided, as well. Some people say that the hardest part of a divorce after a long marriage is the personal relationships they lose as a result.
Our Illinois Family Lawyers can Help with These Complex Issues
Although there are some consequences that are inevitable when a long marriage ends in divorce, our skilled Hinsdale family lawyers at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio can help you avoid many legal ramifications. We have the experience necessary to see you through the divorce process and help with the terms and factors unique to these cases. Call us today at 630-920-8855 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help you secure the fair divorce settlement you deserve.