According to several recent studies, roughly a quarter of all divorces occur between persons aged fifty and older. For many reasons, divorces among older adults – also known as “gray divorces” – have become both more common and socially acceptable. In light of the individuals’ ages, many issues, particularly those related to the raising of children, no longer apply. However, a gray divorce in New Jersey concerns many of the same considerations as those between younger couples. If you would like more information, please continue reading, then contact one of our experienced Monmouth County divorce attorneys. Some considerations for couples undergoing a gray divorce include:
Many litigants over the age of fifty have been married for some length of time, especially in the case of first marriages. The length of a couple’s marriage plays a crucial role in whether or not a court will order one of the parties to pay alimony. According to the New Jersey Supreme Court, a proper alimony award must assist the supported spouse in achieving a lifestyle reasonably comparable to the one they enjoyed while living with the supporting spouse during their marriage. New Jersey does not have permanent alimony, but long marriages, particularly in cases where spouses made unequal contributions, may lead the court to order some form of alimony for a specified period of time.
The issue of alimony can impact one or both spouses’ intentions to retire, change their lifestyle or navigate the involuntary loss of employment. Many times, retirement at the usual retirement age will justify a modification of the alimony award. However, that is not always so. If the obligor spouse has sufficient assets and income from other sources to continue paying alimony, the court may decide that these conditions do not constitute a change in circumstances. Additionally, the court will want to know if the payor spouse’s retirement was reasonable or merely a cynical effort to reduce the amount of alimony they have to pay.
Spouses who are age fifty and over may have acquired significant assets during the marriage that the court must divide equitably, including:
- Homes, primary and/or vacation
- Cars, boats and other vehicles
- Stocks, bonds and other securities
- Bank accounts
- Business interests
- Retirement accounts, i.e. IRAs, 401(k)s, etc.
You may require financial experts to accurately value real estate, appraise businesses or value retirement accounts. Aside from immediate concerns, the equitable distribution of property could upset your estate plan.
Speak with one of our skilled Monmouth County attorneys if you have any further questions or would like to begin preparing your case.
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If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in Rumson, Monmouth County, or anywhere in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.