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What is a gray divorce?

If you are married, over 50 years of age and headed for divorce in New Jersey, you are about to become part of the gray divorce phenomenon. 

Kiplinger provides the following statistics about gray divorce: 

  • Divorce among 50+ couples represents 25% of today’s U.S. divorces. 
  • Only 10% of divorcing couples fell within this demographic in 1990. 
  • In over half of today’s gray divorces, the marriage lasted at least 20 years. 
  • While the overall divorce rate has gone down in recent years, the number of gray divorces continues to rise. 

Causes 

Numerous factors account for the tremendous rise in gray divorces, including the following: 

  • Divorce has few, if any, social or moral stigmas today. 
  • Couples who marry have higher expectations today regarding love, compatibility, etc. 
  • Life expectancy has increased while bad marriage acceptance has decreased. 
  • Online dating provides 50+ people a far greater chance of “finding true love” than it used to. 

Special considerations 

Not surprisingly, your gray divorce likely will include special financial considerations that younger divorcing couples need not face, especially if your marriage has been lengthy. In all probability, you and your spouse have accumulated a good deal of high-value marital property over the years that you will need to fairly and equitably divide between you. For example, your home’s value likely is considerably higher than homes owned by younger couples. In addition, the value of your respective retirement accounts becomes especially important since one or both of you are at the age, or close thereto, where you will need to rely on them for income. 

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.