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Is divorce in New Jersey easier without children?

A recent article in the Huffington Post asks a question that may interest Sussex County residents who are considering or going through a divorce. Is divorce easier for people who don't have children?

Of course, some factors simply aren't an issue in a divorce that doesn't involve children. All the hardship and emotions that attach specifically to a split-up between parents can be avoided by non-parents seeking a divorce. That means custody battles aren't an issue, nor are negotiations about child support and visitation rights. But that doesn't mean difficulties faced by divorcing parties without kids aren't just as trying as those confronted by divorcing parents.

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love," says her divorce could not have been any easier than many divorces involving kids. Before her divorce, Gilbert had already decided never to have children with her former spouse. Still, the dissolution of her marriage turned out to be very costly in terms of emotional strife and finances. Moreover, during her divorce, Gilbert felt pressure to defend the fact that she didn't want to have children. Here situation serves as a reminder that divorce, no matter the circumstances, is always difficult.

People who do not have children endure many of the same worries divorcing parents do. After a marital breakup, it is common for people to agonize about the possibility of reverting to some of the same relationship patterns that may have led to a divorce in the first place. People second-guess themselves and have doubts about the possibility of future relationships. There are also concerns about maintaining a certain standard of living after a divorce, and that is where issues of spousal support and property division -- issues common to nearly all marriages -- come into play.

Divorce presents challenges for every person who goes through it. But a good divorce settlement, whether it addresses children or not, should be a goal for every divorcing couple. Such a settlement will take into account the present and future needs of each party involved.

Source: Huffington Post, "Is Divorce Easier If You Don't Have Kids?" Vicki Larson, July 11, 2012

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