Heymann & Fletcher

Divorce has major impact on older women

In the United States, including in New Jersey, the dissolution of marriages increased dramatically during the 1970s and 1980s, which is when baby boomers entered adulthood. This same phenomenon is happening today, as baby boomers enter their retirement years. The process of getting a divorce has a particularly negative impact on women compared to men.

Research shows that the higher levels of financial stress that people face after getting divorced have forced many older women to return to the workforce. Women who divorce later in life stand a higher chance of having to work a full-time job in their later years. A new study indicated that women who divorced when they were in their 50s were nearly 10 percent more likely to work full time as compared to women who dissolved their marriages before the age of 30.

In addition, baby-boomer women are 19 percentage points more likely to have to work full-time jobs over the age of 50 when compared to women who were born during the 1920s. This can pose financial challenges because the price of getting divorced goes beyond court costs and legal fees. Divorcing people also have to split their assets and watch some of their costs double, such as their rents and electricity bills.

The divorce process in New Jersey can be stressful no matter how old or young a person is. However, an applied understanding of the law may help people to make wise decisions regarding how to split assets and divided property. The decisions they make can have long-term repercussions on them and even their children in the years ahead.

Source: bloomberg.com, "Divorce Is Destroying Retirement", Ben Steverman, Oct. 17, 2016

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