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Only a few years ago, the thought of a married couple in their 50s or older deciding to divorce may have sounded shocking and unusual. After all, the belief was that the years nearing retirement are for enjoying the life one has built, certainly not for walking away and starting over. Nevertheless, divorce rates among people over 50 have doubled in the past few decades, and New Jersey baby boomers have their reasons for untying the knot later in life.

Hitting the big five-oh used to bring the expectation that one had few years left to enjoy. However, with rapidly improving medical care and a heightened focus on healthier living, people are living longer, healthier lives. Retirement no longer means heading to a nursing home, and some married couples simply feel they want a change for this new phase of life. This might be especially true for couples whose marriages were more centered on their children than on each other. Once the children are gone, some spouses no longer feel a connection.

Changing needs

Baby boomers may have idealized love and marriage and are now feeling disillusioned. Changes in society may have some convinced that they do not have to remain in a disappointing marriage or settle for a companion who is not a soul mate. Others may have thought they had that soul mate, but they no longer have that bond. Of course, many gray divorces occur for the same reasons couples in other age brackets break up, including addiction, infidelity and abuse.

No matter the reason for the breakup, a gray divorce has many serious implications, especially when it comes to finances. A lifetime of working, saving and investing for retirement may now be split in two as a New Jersey couple goes their separate ways. It is essential that someone facing a later-life divorce obtain solid legal and financial advice to minimize the negative outcomes.