There was a time when people would not even think of getting a divorce after many years of marriage, even if they were unhappy. Historically, the majority of people simply did not see the point of getting divorced after a long marriage and were content enough to just wait it out. That is no longer the case today. Now, people are more willing to get divorced if they are unhappy, no matter how long they have been married. When they do, there are certain things to take into consideration that may not necessarily be a factor in a divorce after a shorter marriage.
In some divorce cases, judges will award maintenance, also known as alimony. Maintenance is more likely to be awarded after a lengthy marriage, particularly if one spouse remained at home for a long time to care for children. When this is the case, the spouse that remained at home is likely to be in a worse financial position, and may not have the skills necessary to return to the workforce right away. In these instances, a judge will most likely award that spouse maintenance, at least for a period of time.
In addition to one spouse being more susceptible to financial hardship after a divorce, there are other challenging financial aspects associated with divorce after a lengthy marriage. Property division issues are complicated in any divorce, but this is especially true when the marriage was a long one. A couple that has been married for a long time may have their finances spread around in retirement plans, stock options, Social Security benefits, joint bank accounts, and more. All of these assets must be divided, and that can be difficult....