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‘Silver’ divorcees a growing trend

The age of individuals when they marry is increasing, but also that the proportion of divorcees in the over-60 age group is going up.


There may be a wide variety of reasons for this development. Reported reasons include:

  • longer life expectancy and the attitude that “60 is the new 40”;
  • the “right to be happy”, particularly once children have grown up and have their own lives;
  • the increased financial independence of women who have their own careers, and increased ability to support themselves on divorce.

From a legal perspective, couples divorcing after 20, 30 or 40 years of marriage often have a more secure asset base from which to start their new independent lives.

This can mean, however, that the assets being divided are more complex and pensions in particular will be key for older divorcees.

They will have less time, if any, in employment to rebuild their pensions post-divorce and often financial and specialist pension advice is key to ensuring that an individual is going to be protected in their retirement, and that there are no surprises for them.

Careful consideration of pensions is likely to be increasingly key with the new pensions freedoms which came into effect in April and which mean individuals who are at least 55 can have much greater access to their pension pots.

Financial differences between older and younger divorcees can also mean that if a couple separate in their later years, that it is worth considering carefully whether they should divorce or not.

There may be no imperative, such as the impending re-marriage or one or both parties, and the best financial option might be to continue to remain married, but to live separately.

At Ward Hadaway our team are both sympathetic and pragmatic and can provide the advice needed to ensure that anyone contemplating such a serious change to their lives has the information to make the best decision for their future.

For further information on how we can help, please get in touch.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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