There are many couples in New Jersey who spend decades together, building a reputation in their community, working on a successful business and/or raising a family together. However, as they age, the children move away and they retire, many couples, regardless of how long they have been married, discover that they are no longer compatible. In fact, the incidence of gray divorce — divorces among couples who are 50 or older — has increased over the last few decades.
While some reports indicate that the rate of divorce among younger people has decreased, the rate of those 50 and older has doubled over the last three decades. Some couples who seek a divorce when older may be in a second or subsequent marriage, but most are couples who have been in a long-term marriage. For some, the marriage may have been unhappy for years but they chose to remain together for the children or other reasons. Other couples, however, may realize that they are no longer compatible due to a change, such as one person’s illness or infidelity.
Whatever the reason for the end of the marriage, there are often special considerations that those going through a gray divorce must make. For example, some couples have retired, meaning there is no anticipation of more income. The division of retirement accounts and who will benefit from life insurance plans that both have paid into for years are especially important as a result. Other considerations include Social Security benefits, the family home and lifetime health insurance.
Because of these unique concerns, those going through a divorce later in life often benefit from having a family law attorney with experience with similar cases on their side. Regardless of the reason for the split, the fact is that there are many people in New Jersey and across the country who are looking for a happier way to spend their lives. An experienced attorney can help these people look for the next chapter of their lives.