Older adults in New Jersey might be more likely to get a divorce compared to earlier generations. The rise of what is sometimes called “gray divorce” has been driven by a number of factors, including people realizing they have grown apart once their children move away from home.
Some of the reasons for gray divorce are the same reasons people of any age get a divorce. For example, infidelity or addiction could lead to divorce. Disagreement about finances could also lead to divorce, and studies have shown that the likelihood of separating increases when women make higher incomes than men. Other reasons are more specific to this generation. These people are living longer and healthier lives, and this means that when they are dissatisfied with their marriages as they grow older, they are less willing to settle. Instead, they anticipate being able to continue leading a fulfilling life and perhaps even finding a new partner.
Divorce at any age has a number of implications, and even adult children can be affected by the divorce of their parents. They can feel as though their loyalties are split and may need to adjust to their parents having new families. Division of assets for couples who have been married for decades can also be a complicated process.
There are also challenges specific to older adults who are getting a divorce. Some might still have older children who live at home, and although paying for college is not a part of required child support, older divorcing adults who have college-aged children might want to address this. Retirement may also cause complications. With fewer years ahead of them than younger couples to make up for financial losses, including to 401(k)s and IRAs, older adults who divorce may be looking at significant changes to their plans for retirement.