An Overview of Gray Divorce in New Jersey
Divorce over 50? Your Guidebook to Gray Divorces in New Jersey
Although the overall US divorce rate has slightly declined and stabilized, primarily due to people born after the 1990s choosing not to marry, one category of divorce in the US is experiencing a significant spike, gray divorces. According to the US Census Bureau, divorce rates remain high for those 65 to 74 years at 39%, considerably higher than the rest of the adult population. You may wonder what exactly a “gray divorce” is and whether it applies to you or a loved one. The following is an outline of “gray divorce,” the causes that may be leading to its increase, critical issues behind them, and tools that may be helpful when facing a gray divorce.
The Growing Statistics on Gray Divorce in NJ
A gray divorce is a divorce between partners who are generally either over the age of 50 or those who have been married for a considerable length of time. The term “gray divorce” also applies to the increasing trend of older couples, including baby boomers, divorcing. There are several plausible explanations for the climbing number of gray divorces. For example, people are living longer and healthier, which is excellent news. However, this may also translate into individuals living such long lives discovering they no longer want to be in either unhappy or unfulfilling unions. On a similar train of thought, increasing gray divorces may be partially due to mates growing apart over the years. With longer lifespans, it is not uncommon for couples to find that they have little in common with each other after many years of marriage.
Empty nest syndrome is the reaction to an adult child moving out and continuing onto their own path in life. Generally, when “empty nests” trigger the syndrome’s onset, it is often fueled by grief, a sense of loss, and sometimes accompanied by depression and anxiety. In some instances, couples, who perhaps stayed together primarily for the upbringing of their child or children, begin to realize they may benefit from divorce. Gray divorce may serve as an opportunity to salvage their happiness as individuals.
Common Challenges in a Gray Divorce
Divorce can present many obstacles, particularly for those going through a gray divorce. For instance, whether in your 50s or your golden years, you may have entered retirement or be mulling over retirement possibilities. It can be frustrating and even frightening when suddenly propelled to rethink your retirement strategy or what you had envisioned or planned for at this juncture of life. Divorce during these years often carries substantial financial concerns regarding investments, property, trusts, wills, and assets acquired either within the marriage or by other means, such as through inheritance. Dividing assets and properties are often seen as a hurdle by couples entering divorce discussions. There may also be financial considerations or plans attributed to children and grandchildren, such as inheritance and trusts.
In addition, the issue of figuring spousal support and alimony in a gray divorce can be complex as several factors go into consideration, including but not limited to the marriage’s length, the spouse’s age, the earning capacity of each spouse, and the standard of living during the marriage. A skilled attorney can assist you in navigating financial concerns, achieving a fair division of assets and property, and reaching reasonable alimony agreements.
In addition, some circumstances may call for necessary planning of custody arrangements and visitation agreements if minor children are under the care of the divorcing couple. Lastly, dealing with the emotional fall-out of divorce is not uncommon and can be a primary challenge for many individuals transitioning from marriage to being single again. Negative emotions, such as sadness, anger, and resentment, may be initiated during and after a gray divorce, which is why creating a support network for yourself is crucial. A gray divorce support network can look like family, friends, therapy, and even a support group. Even though a gray divorce may seem troublesome and exhausting, you can rediscover yourself, life, and joy with the proper support and guidance.
The Use of Mediation in Gray Divorces
While gray divorces may be more complicated than a traditional divorce, as there may be more assets and more complex financial issues to consider, the alternative of remaining in a dysfunctional marriage can bear far more significant burdens. Mediation is ideal for couples going through a gray divorce because it can help them resolve the issues outlined above fairly and respectfully to both parties. Mediation is less adversarial than traditional divorce proceedings, and it can help couples reach an agreement that is in their best interests.
Contact Little Falls Gray Divorce Lawyers for Assistance with Your Divorce over 50
If you are embarking on a gray divorce, it is wise to consult a knowledgeable family law attorney to discuss the options ahead of you and examine your unique circumstances. Your attorney can help you understand the divorce process, prepare you with what to expect, and provide guidance on how to best approach both sensitive and pressing issues. In addition, asset division, alimony calculations, and many other critical matters and potential points of negotiation and compromise arise during divorce that are best addressed with a trusted attorney by your side.
Contact an experienced divorce attorney at The Montanari Law Group and schedule a free and confidential consultation. We offer educated, practical guidance, support, and the dedication to pursue all of your goals throughout the process of divorcing later in life. The consultation is free, and a member of our team will assist you right away by calling (973) 233-4396 or filling out our online form.
With local offices in Little Falls, we have successfully handled gray divorces, post-divorce modifications of alimony, prenuptial agreements, estate planning matters pre and post-divorce, and other critical aspects of our clients’ family law needs throughout Ridgewood, Haledon, West Orange, Hawthorne, Elmwood Park, and throughout Essex, Bergen, and Passaic County. To discuss your case, simply reach out to us anytime.