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Rising Rates Of Divorce In The Over-60s

Rising Rates Of Divorce In The Over-60s

A report produced by think-tank the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK) has revealed that divorce rates among the over-60s are rapidly increasing. As the number of divorces in the young and middle-aged falls, so there has been an 85% increase in the amount of divorces recorded among the elderly. The rise of the so-called “silver separators” is leading to concerns about the impact this may have on the health, security and financial status of the aging population.

One in ten divorces in 2037 will be between over-60s

The ILC-UK report, which was debated in the House of Lords on November 18, found that the number of divorcees over 60 increased by 85% between 1990 and 2012. Based on the current figures, it is predicted that by 2037, around 10% of all divorces will be between those aged 60 and over, potentially adding up to around 22,000 individuals. Whilst unable to cite a definitive reason for the increase, the report noted that the rate of marriage in the over-60s was steadily increasing. It has been suggested that people are being exposed to the risk of divorce later in life, as the marriages are still somewhat recent, along with a general change in attitudes towards divorce amongst the population. Further, as life expectancy increases, it is thought that there are more active decisions to end marriages by divorce, rather than unions ending with the death of a spouse. Discussing the findings of the report Ben Franklin, a researcher at ILC-UK, said the rising rates were a cause for concern. He urged individuals to seek relationship support before commencing divorce proceedings, warning that the ‘increasing divorce rates and numbers might result in greater isolation, illness and a need for more formal care”.

Financial implications of divorcing in older age

Director of longevity at Partnership Assurance Richard Willets said the findings of the report were worrying in a financial sense. “While divorce at any age is likely to be a painful experience, the older you are, the more likely it is to have a negative impact on your health, wealth and general well-being.”As separation is generally not something that people plan for, they are likely to need the support of their family and friends as well as, potentially, more state assistance.”There are also concerns that the findings may financially impact women more harshly than men. For the baby-boomer generation – those born between 1946 and 1955 – it was traditional for woman to stay at home and raise a family, rather than go to work. As such, these women, who are now in their sixties, have been deprived of years of saving for retirement. A report published earlier in the year by Scottish Widows revealed that on average, women have saved £13,000 less in their pensions than men. The report showed that 84% of women did not discuss pensions when negotiating their divorce settlement. Furthermore, as the children of over-60s are most likely to be adults during the divorce, women will receive less financial assistance than they would have done if their offspring were still in the family home. Additionally the effect on wills should be considered upon divorce, another pertinent issue – for both men and women – later in life. Accordingly, the consequences of divorcing in older age can be complex and wide-ranging. Family break-ups are traumatic for adults, and children in particular. At IBB Solicitors, we’re here to help you resolve divorce and separation issues as swiftly and sensitively as possible with caring, compassionate advice and representation. We will always give you practical and honest advice and protect your interests robustly should there be court proceedings. We have experience in dealing with a variety of clients and situations including high net worth divorce cases, particularly where complex assets or overseas arrangements are involved.We do everything in our power to make the separation and divorce process as painless as possible. Our divorce and family lawyers in the South Buckinghamshire area provide you with a full range of family law services in complete confidence.