By: Thomas J. DeCataldo Jr., Esq. and Jeb-Michael Harmon, Esq.
According to a recent article put out by the American Association for Retired Persons (hereafter “AARP”), if late-life divorce were a disease, it would be an epidemic. The trend has become so common in matrimonial practice it has derived its own nickname, known as “gray divorce.” While the overall divorce rate declined nationwide from its zenith of 5.3 divorced per 1,000 people in 1981 to 3.2 divorced per 1,000 today, incidents of gray divorce doubled over the last 20 years making this a trend worthy of attention for those practicing family law.
Divorcing clients over the age of 50 face a unique and challenging process, often made complicated by concerns regarding healthcare costs, retirement, social security beneﬁts, property division and calculating alimony. It is important that NJ matrimonial attorneys have a strong working knowledge of Social Security Beneﬁts, in order to help navigate conﬂicts over support related issues. It is also essential that critical deadlines not be overlooked, otherwise divorcing litigants may irretrievably (and avoidably) lose entitlements to beneﬁts that would have otherwise been available.