Silver separation: why are more older couples getting divorced?

Fri 1st Sep 2017

Why are record numbers of older couples choosing to get divorced? Elise Alma, Partner and Head of the Family Team at Coodes Solicitors comments on a growing trend.

While the divorce rate is falling in England and Wales, the average age of divorcees is creeping up. The fact that we are, on average, living longer, is one obvious reason for this trend. Many of us will be able to enjoy a long and active retirement, compared to previous generations. And many divorces now happen after many decades of marriage.

Retirement and children leaving home are life changing events, which cause many to re-evaluate what they want out of life. Of course, the end of a long marriage can be devastating for the spouse who did not see it coming. If can often feel like the rug being whipped out from under their feet as they see their plans for a secure later life with their partner torn up.

Divorce can be more complicated for older couples, who are likely to have more assets than younger divorcees. This means they need really good advice to be sure of getting the best settlement. Sadly, what is often enough to provide comfortably for the two people in one home may not stretch to two homes. Buying a new property is more complicated as a mortgage is less likely to be available to us as we get older. For the older generation getting the right advice about how pension funds could be shared is also vital.

For some older divorcees, this may be the breakdown of a second marriage. There may be complications of adult step children getting involved. They may also both have property or finances following their first divorce. Understandably, they may want to preserve these assets if they go through a second divorce. They may also have built up pensions before their second marriage, so will need expert advice to help ensure this is split fairly.

With living longer, getting divorced later in life is far more common that it has ever been. Being a ‘silver splitter’ and getting divorced in your 60s or 70s does bring with it a number of complications so getting the right advice is crucial.

For more information or advice on divorce or any Family matters, contact Elise Alma at Coodes Solicitors on 01566 770000 or

Fri 1st Sep 2017

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