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Nowadays, in our family law practice, we are seeing more couples who have reached their mid-50s or beyond and who are facing separation and divorce.  For these couples, the issue of retirement and the division of retirement benefits is crucial.  Spousal support, if awarded, can have a significant impact on the retirement plans of a spouse.  In the legal profession, and at bench bar conferences around Virginia, there are ongoing discussions about how long a payor spouse should have to work or if the payor spouse chooses to elect retirement, about what the impact should be on the spousal support award.  Some judicial case opinions have indicated that a voluntary retirement should not act to reduce support at all and income is imputed to the retiree at the amount being earned before retirement; some recent judicial case opinions also suggest that if retirement is voluntary, then other assets may be considered to satisfy the support obligation.  Financial planning is important at any stage of life, but a good supplement to your family law attorney in a divorce matter is a financial planner with experience and education in dealing with the special facts presented in such situations.
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