VUE | Fall 2018

The Digest | New Jersey Magazine

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Page 139 of 147

One would think that divorce in couples who are both over the age of 50, together for years, would not be as common as it is for younger couples; however, statistics say otherwise. Divorce Dynasty in particular has seen an increased number of couples seeking divorce attorneys after making the conscious decision to end their 20, 30 or even 40-year marriages. Unfortunately, with that number of years under your belt, the issues surrounding divorce carry a heavier weight. BY KAROLINA DEHNHARD, ESQ. & JACQUI ATCHESON ith retirement looming, and the number of available work- ing years growing ever shorter, the analysis and assessment of whether they can each retire (now separately) becomes one of the most pressing issues. Where they may have once planned on re- tiring collectively, under one roof, and pooling their resources, they're now having to provide and pay for separate residences which places a heavy burden on those divorcing in their late 50s and 60s. e all too oen result, rather than retiring, is to continue working. is equation becomes all the more complicated with the recent changes to New Jersey's alimony statute, and, in 2017, the changes to the Federal Tax Code. As a result of the changes to the New Jersey alimony statute, "good faith" retirement is a basis upon which an al- imony obligation can be limited, or even terminated. Simply put, the income-earning spouse can now retire at age 67 (or possibly even ear- lier depending on their age) and as a result, their alimony obligation to their former spouse may be severely curtailed, or non-existent. One possible outcome could be an inability to receive alimony despite a long-term marriage. is harsh reality could leave a wife, married for 40 years, now at age 65, and with a husband who is also 65 or 66 years old, without any long-term alimony award.* DIVORCE OVER 50: A GRAY AREA V U E N J . C O M 140

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