As the U.S. Divorce Rate Rises for 55+ Age Group, What Should You Consider When Filing for Divorce?

A recent article from the Wall Street Journal illustrates a declining divorce rate in the United States. Since, 1979, the United States divorce rate has fallen 29% from 22.6 out of each 1,000 marriages, to 16.1 out of each 1,000 marriages. Many researchers attribute this decline to delayed marriages. For example, the median age of marriage for woman has increased from 20 years old in 1963 to 27 in 2017.

Interestingly, the divorce rates among age-categorized groups was not as uniform. The divorcer rate for couples under 54 years old consistently dropped, though the trend was reversed as individuals neared 55 and above. This category of “gray divorces” experienced a nearly doubled rate since 1979. Many researchers note that the rate of divorce is particularly high for this age group – which consists of baby boomers – since this group is more likely to be on their second marriage, which has a statistically higher rate of divorce.

If divorce is something going through your mind, there are some steps to take to ensure that you pursue it in a way that is ideal for you and your family. Primarily, understand your objectives of the divorce. If you and your spouse agree on all of the most important matters, then an uncontested divorce may be possible. These issues include child support and parenting arrangements; spousal support, better known as alimony; and distribution of marital property.

Before filing divorce, it is also wise to consider which grounds you plan to file on. In the state of New Jersey, there are two different grounds for divorce: no-fault and fault. Below, is a description of these varying grounds with examples.

There are two no-fault grounds. The most commonly cited one is “irreconcilable differences.” When you use this ground, you are stating that there is little to no hope that you and your spouse will be able to work out your problems and that the causes that led to your decision to divorce will likely remain.

The second no-fault ground is separation. If you and your spouse reside in separate residences for a period of eighteen months, you can file on this ground.

There are several fault grounds. The most commonly used are abandonment, mental and/or physical cruelty, adultery, and drug or alcohol abuse or addiction. Our team of experienced Bergen County divorce attorneys at Aretsky Law Group P.C. can help you navigate the grounds for divorce policies in New Jersey.

After you have determined the objectives for your divorce, it is wise to consider hiring a New Jersey divorce attorney. Selecting the right lawyer to represent you during this trying time is crucial. It is so important that you choose someone who understands what you are going through and who has the patience to guide you step by step through the process. When making your selection, look for someone who meets these basic criteria and is accessible, compassionate, and, above all, will put your interests first!

Remember, although you want someone who is a skilled litigator in case the need for litigation arises, it is best to avoid an attorney who seems to favor litigation when negotiation or mediation would be in your best interests.

Divorce is stressful, but the experienced and compassionate Bergen County divorce attorneys at Aretsky Law Group, P.C., are dedicated to guiding you through the difficult process with as little anxiety as possible. We will be with you every step of the way to ensure that your rights are protected and your needs met.

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