While divorce rates in New Jersey and across the U.S. have fallen since 1987, separations for couples older than age 50 have steadily increased. Known as gray divorces, these separations present special issues with which younger people don’t have to contend. It is important for older spouses to understand the special problems that they might face so that they can make well-informed decisions.
When older adults divorce, they may be near to retirement or have already retired. This may cause retirement-related issues. People who are already retired no longer have incomes coming in. When couples are forced to divide their retirement accounts and other assets, both spouses may be left with little on which to live. If they have not yet retired and are forced to divide their retirement accounts, they will not have much time to replenish their savings and therefore be forced to continue working.
Nevertheless, there are many cases when divorce is the best option. If people are in abusive marriages, divorce might be necessary. People whose spouses have serious addiction problems might also be better off getting divorced. However, it is always important for spouses to plan for their finances before taking steps toward divorce.
People who are thinking about getting divorced might benefit by talking to family law attorneys. The lawyers may help their clients consider all of the pros and cons of moving forward. If the clients wish to go ahead and divorce, the attorneys may file the paperwork and work to make the process as smooth as possible. They may be able to reach full settlement agreements so that their clients might avoid court litigation.