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Older Women at Financial Risk in New Jersey Divorce


A recent study by Bowling Green State University found more than one-fourth of divorced women are living in poverty in retirement, compared to 11 percent of older divorced men and 18 percent of women who divorce earlier in life.

Incidents of older couples divorcing are on the rise, with the Business Journals reporting more than 800,000 older Americans will divorce in 2030, compared to just 206,000 in 1990. The increase is being blamed on everything from Viagra to the evolving roles of women in marriage and the workplace.

Financial security is also of increased concern for women because they tend to live longer and be less interested in remarriage. Monmouth County divorce lawyers know there are many things divorcees can do to reduce their financial risks after divorce. Women do not have to be passive financial victims.

A solidly executed divorce can even improve your health. Those who continue to struggle are at greater risk of depression, anxiety, and chronic stress.

Financial Security after Grey Divorce

Building a solid financial future starts with consulting an experienced divorce lawyer in Monmouth County before divorce paperwork is filed. With an adequate property settlement and protection of retirement assets and income, data suggest divorcees can recover about 70 percent of their pre-divorce standard of living.

The most critical factors to consider in divorce include:

  • Property division: New Jersey is an equitable division state. Equitable means fair, it does not mean equal. Taking into consideration contributions to the marriage that took a woman out of the workforce, as well as future earnings capacity, can lead to a larger share of marital assets.
  • Retraining: Divorce is a time to consider your job skills, particularly if you have significant time left in the workforce. In many cases, a former spouse can be made to pay for such retraining, or provide additional resources during the retraining process.
  • Tax implications: Taxes are one of the biggest destroyers of wealth during divorce, particularly when selling the marital home or dividing retirement accounts. What looks like a fair deal, may look considerably less equitable after taxes.
  • Retirement accounts: A former spouse may be entitled to significant pension or retirement assets. A party who earned considerably less during marriage may even be entitled to a portion of a former spouse’s Social Security benefits. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order should be filed to ensure such assets are paid directly to you after retirement.

Alimony: While permanent alimony is largely a thing of the past in New Jersey, you may be entitled to significant spousal support for a lengthy period of time. Alimony is based on 14 statutory factors outlined in N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23(b).

A recent T. Rowe Price survey found the median 401(k) balance of Baby Boomer women — $59,000 — is less than half of what it is for Baby Boomer men, $138,000. Ensuring adequate retirement income should be among the primary concerns of your divorce attorney.

The tendency is too often to avoid contention in favor of settling for a quick divorce. The statistics, particularly as they relate to women, suggest fighting for a fair divorce settlement is paramount when it comes to protecting your future quality of life and standard of living in retirement.

Call Rozin|Golinder Law, LLC today for a free and confidential consultation.
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