New Jersey and other states are seeing a growing trend in the divorce rate among older couples. These “gray divorces,” as they are known, often come with unique challenges, including financial issues such as “financial infidelity.”
Gray divorces are divorces that occur among couples where the two parties are over the age of 50. Social and economic factors are making this type of separation more common, with a recent study showing that the divorce rate among this age group has doubled in the past two decades. Gray divorces can be complicated by issues such as retirement accounts, Social Security benefits and inheritance.
Financial infidelity refers to the act of lying, hiding or deceiving a spouse about the marriage’s financial matters. This can include secret bank accounts, hidden debt or undisclosed assets.
Financial infidelity can be particularly damaging in gray divorces as couples may have accumulated significant assets throughout their marriage. It can also be more difficult to recover from financial infidelity in later life as couples may have less time to recover financially before retirement.
Impact on divorce settlement
Financial infidelity can impact the outcome of a divorce settlement. If one partner has been hiding assets or lying about debt, this can affect the division of property and debt. Additionally, financial infidelity can impact spousal support payments as one partner may be entitled to more support if they were not aware of the full extent of the couple’s financial situation.
Preventing financial infidelity can be difficult as the trust inherent in most marriages makes it challenging to detect any financial wrongdoing by the other partner. However, there are steps couples can take to reduce the risk. These include maintaining open communication about finances, setting financial goals together and regular financial check-ins.
Couples can also consider consulting a financial planner or counselor to help them navigate financial issues. This gives a trustworthy fiduciary the responsibility of maintaining transparency for the couple.