Everyone knows someone who is getting divorced – in fact, there are hundreds of thousands of divorced people in New Jersey.  Even so, according to recent studies, the divorce rate in New Jersey is lower than other states.  Why? In part, because New Jersey also has lower marriage rate than other states.  According to a recent article in The New York Times (“Want Your Union to Last? Marry in New Jersey”, Oct. 12, 2012), 9% of New Jersey adults are divorced, while 52% are married. 

But other factors are also in play.  Some experts suggest that New Jersey’s low divorce rate reflects the fact that New Jerseyans tend to marry later and have more money and education than adults in other states.  Generally, older age at time of marriage, more education and better financial prospects lead to marital stability.  Another possible reason for the state’s low divorce rate is its high immigrant population who tend to have lower divorce rates than the native-born population. The impact of the recession is less clear – on the one hand, some people cannot afford to get divorced and support two households; on the other hand, financial stress often leads to breakdowns in relationships.

So what to do if you are among the divorcing population? One of the best options for divorcing couples is divorce mediation.  In mediation, couples meet with an impartial, trained mediator who helps them come to an agreement on issues of parenting and child support, and division of assets and spousal support.  Compared to litigation where each spouse hires a lawyer who advocates for one side over the other, mediation saves time and money and preserves family relationships.  While divorce statistics may show a decline in divorce across the state, there are thousands of divorcing couples who still need to find the best way to move forward.

For more information about divorce mediation contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, LMFT, at Westfield Mediation, LLC, at 908.913.0373.  View our website at www.westfieldnjmediation.com or email us at info@westfieldnjmediation.com