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Overview of Divorce for Empty Nesters

A myriad of circumstances can trigger a couple to seek an end to their marriages. One situation in which a spike in the number of people seeking divorce occurs is the point in time when all of their children have left the home. With this in mind, there is some important information to bear in mind when it comes to divorce for empty nesters.

Statistics and Divorce for Empty Nesters

There are some key statistics to bear in mind when it comes to the matter of empty nester divorce. These include:

  • The divorce rate for couples over the age of 50, including empty nesters, has doubled over the course of the past generation.
  • The divorce rate for people over 64 years of age tripled during that same time period.
  • Considering the divorce rate overall in New Jersey and across the United States, one in four marriage dissolution cases involve people over the age of 50 (and many include empty nesters).
Underlying Problems Have Been Brewing

There is a widespread misperception associated with the decision to divorce when all children have left the home – flew from the nest. This commonplace and yet misplaced thinking is that the trauma or having an empty nest in and of itself results in the deterioration of a couple’s marital relationship. Although such a scenario does play out in some circumstances, such a situation in reality is not all that frequent in its occurrence.

The stark reality is that when a couple heads towards a divorce when they become empty nesters it is because of problems that have been stewing for an extended period of time. The presence of children in the home causes some individuals to respond to marital problems in a number of different ways:

  • They use issues and responsibilities associated with raising children as an overarching excuse for other problems that exist in a relationship. “When the kids are gone, these problems we may or may no have will go away.”
  • Issues and responsibilities associated with raising children provide cover or an excuse for recognizing, accepting, and acting upon marital matters, issues, and problems.
  • A couple not only doesn’t separate while kids are in the home but elect not to even consider marital problems “for the sake of the kids.”

In many cases, underlying issues that have been brewing for a long time suddenly (truly, suddenly) explode or boil over not long after the last child is out the door to college or on another pathway to that young person’s adult life. Because the flare up can be so intense and immediate, a couple understandably is caught at least somewhat by surprise. Moreover, it is natural to attribute the problem or problems that are causing marital issues to be a direct result of becoming empty nesters because of timing.

Simple Tactics to Buttress a Marriage when the Kids Leave

In some cases, the recognition or realization of marital problems does not necessarily spell divorce for empty nesters. Rather, a couple may want to employ some tactics to ascertain whether certain marital issues are in fact surmountable. As has been noted, oftentimes these issues causing discord have not been appropriately considered let alone addressed in any manner previously.

  • The most important of these strategies is to allow for some time to determine if marital issues can be addressed and resolved.
  • Another strategy is to strive to open and maintain candid, open, and reasonable lines of communication between spouses.
  • In some cases, reaching out to a marriage counselor or similar professional may be an advisable course in advance of making the final decision to ask a divorce for empty nesters.
Protect Your Legal Rights

The most important step you need to take to protect your legal rights when faced the prospect of a New Jersey marriage dissolution is to seek the advice and assistance of legal counsel. You can arrange a no-cost and no-obligation initial consultation and case evaluation with a member of the legal team at the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen any that is convenient for you. You can reach the firm by calling 201-845-7400. Our firm has experience in representing clients facing divorce later in life.

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