Divorce for older couples continues to increase despite a decrease in the rate of divorce across most other age groups in the UK. There has been a significant increase in divorces involving those over 50 and divorces among over 65s is no longer unusual.
There are many reasons for this including increase in life expectancy, changing attitudes to divorce and an increase in financial equality between the parties. After children have grown up and left home couples are faced with the reality that they may have twenty or thirty years left. They realise they now have choices into how to spend that time and whether it will be with their current husband/wife or not. Many see it as a time to reinvent themselves and follow new paths such as a desire by one partner to travel the world or lead a more adventurous lifestyle. They have no desire to spend their latter years being unhappy.
Affairs by either party can also be a trigger for divorce. Whereas a mid-life crisis was often apparent in 40 year olds this is now just as likely to occur in 50 and 60 year olds.
However, it is a momentous decision and this age group face their own challenges upon divorce. There are many factors to take into account to ensure that financial security is protected as well as inheritance issues. It is vital that Pension Sharing Orders are sought if one party (in this age group it is likely to be the husband) has been the main earner building up a portfolio of investments and pensions. The wife may have given up a career to care for children and be in a more vulnerable position financially.
When a couple who have been married a long-time get divorced, all their assets and liabilities are considered joint and courts will look at an equalizing outcome for both parties.
It is therefore essential that legal advice is sought and Financial Orders obtained. If embarking on a second marriage it may be advisable to draw up a Pre-Nuptial agreement to safeguard personal wealth and inheritance issues. Such agreements should be the subject of careful preparation, following full financial disclosure.
For further information on divorce, financial orders and pre-nuptial agreements contact Margaret Porter or Dee Finnegan at Spectrum Family Law.
Dee, Thank you for all your assistance with my divorce, it has been invaluable whilst giving me strength and...