Understanding alimony in a grey divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2023 | blog, family law |

After a divorce, alimony can be very helpful, particularly as a lower-earning spouse figures out how to support themselves. However, when divorce occurs between older spouses in New Jersey, the considerations involving alimony are different.

What is the purpose of alimony?

The purpose of alimony is to have the higher-earning spouse provide financial support to the lower-earning spouse during the period that the spouse needs to figure out how to support themselves. It is meant to allow the lower-earning spouse to continue with the same standard of living as before the divorce. The length of the marriage and the earning capability of each spouse post-divorce will influence how much and for how long alimony will be paid. In many cases, alimony is temporary, awarded for a fixed amount of time. However, as grey divorce increases, and the spouses are near or in retirement, alimony might be effectively permanent, due to the recipient’s age.

Alimony and grey divorce

Alimony during a grey divorce has particular considerations. These include:

  • Each spouse’s income and possible income after the divorce
  • If only one spouse had income, how this one income will be divided to support two households
  • Any changes to lifestyle that need to be made to adapt to the new financial reality
  • How alimony payments will be included in the death benefit of life insurance policies
  • How the divorce and the alimony payments will affect the retirement plans for each spouse

Grey divorce can be a complex process, particularly when the couple has accumulated a variety of assets through their long marriage and when one spouse has, perhaps, sacrificed their career to raise the family and take care of the home. However, with careful, honest negotiations and planning, both spouses might complete the divorce process feeling financially stable even as they enter retirement.