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Gray or Mature Divorce Considerations

Divorce does not discriminate as it is blind to age, race, economic background, education, number of years married, children, property ownership and so on. Couples who have been married a short time or do not have children have far different issues to contend with than couples who have been married a long time, have adult children and have accumulated significant assets over a lifetime of marriage. For these mature couples, divorce mediation takes on a whole new meaning. Here are 5 issues for mature couples to consider when engaging in divorce mediation:


Perhaps one of you worked for a long period of time and has accumulated significant 401(k) holdings while the other has not. Or you've purchase stock for your portfolio along the way and used it as a means to save. In either case using outside experts such as accountants or financial advisors can come in handy as the equitable distribution of these assets will be critical to your future sustainability.

Health Insurance

If you're in your late 50's, early 60's and don't quite yet qualify for Medicare, you need to consider that health insurance coverage may be quite expensive and need to factor it into your monthly budget when considering spousal support (when applicable).

Adult Children

Your kids are your kids, no matter what age so don't think just because they're in their 20's, 30's or 40's they don't want to know what's going on and explained to. This is going to come as quite a shock to them so it's important you explain the reasons for your divorce and understand their reaction should it not be so favorable.

Wills & Trusts

Chances are (and I hope you do) you have a will or a trust set up to deal with your estate. Make sure you adjust this when the time comes as you may find yourself offering your ex-spouse an unintended windfall should you not make a beneficiary change. This is especially important if you remarry.

Your Lifestyle

Chances are if you fall into the category of a gray or mature divorce, you won't have a lot of working years to catch up and get your lifestyle back to where it once was. You'll need to deal with the reality that you may be living in an apartment when before you had a 4 bedroom house which unto itself is a major adjustment. Be realistic with what you can afford to buy, what you can spend and what impact a divorce will have on your lifestyle.

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New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, meaning that the division of property in a divorce is to be done fairly, not necessarily equally. The court can take into consideration any factor it deems relevant when dividing property, but it must consider certain factors, such as how long the couple was married and the age and health of both spouses, the income or property brought to the marriage by each spouse, the standard of living that was achieved during the marriage, and the extent to which one spouse may have deferred career goals, among others.
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