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What is a Gray Divorce?

A “Gray Divorce” is a term used to illustrate the increasing divorce rate for those ages 50 years and older.  Whether it’s due to people now expecting more out of life, parents waiting until their children have left the nest, or couples are simply living longer, divorce in this population group is on the rise.

While the divorce process remains largely the same no matter the age of the couple, a gray divorce is often free from facing the challenges of child custody and parenting time disputes that occur in many cases.  However, there are other unique challenges when divorcing later in life.

In the state of New Jersey, a marriage of greater than 20 years may warrant an award of open durational alimony.  This is especially true where one spouse has been unemployed for a long time. A spouse who is required to pay alimony will likely have a responsibility to maintain life insurance through the duration of the alimony period, raising potential issues of insurability and the cost for same. Also, a spouse who may be separated from a health insurance plan upon divorce will have to obtain health insurance of their own.

Retirement monies will be equitably distributed, which may translate to an equal division, at a time when you or your spouse may struggle to recover those “lost” funds.

Determining the value of certain premarital assets may prove to be difficult, given the removal in time from the date of the marriage.  Additionally, issues of co-mingling of separate property, as well as inheritances, are more likely to arise given the duration of the marriage.  Also, personal property might be especially entwined, making it difficult to determine the appropriate equitable distribution.

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, LLC, we aim to ensure a seamless transition to the second half of your life. If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce matter, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.

By Carly J. Steinberg, Esq.