Divorce rates have been falling consistently for several years now. However, there is one section of the population bucking the trend, namely the over 60s, sometimes known as the “silver separators”, or "silver splitters". Whilst the over 60s age group still represents a small proportion of overall divorce statistics, it has doubled since 1993.
There are many reasons behind this trend; people are living longer and therefore have many more active years ahead of them, well into retirement; they are working longer and as a result may be more able to divorce without too much financial hardship and lastly, divorce in itself is not as unthinkable for today’s older generation as it may have been in the past.
Divorce at a later age also brings its own particular challenges. Starting again, practically and emotionally, after a long marriage can be very daunting. In retirement, some people miss the routine and support network that a job provides and can feel isolated. The adult children of the marriage may take sides and exclude one parent which may be hurtful.
In addition, looking to divorce in a later stage of life, you may have a more complex financial situation to consider because you have been married for many years, during which assets have been acquired and built up over a long period of time.
Pensions are often a significant asset, and when approaching retirement age, they need very careful consideration, so it is important to obtain expert legal advice about this. When pensions are complex or valuable it is often advisable to obtain a specialist report from a pension’s expert.
There are, however, several ways to reach an agreement over financial issues when getting a divorce. You may be able to agree on the terms with each other, or your lawyer can forward proposals and negotiate on your behalf. If that is not possible, mediation which involves using an independent, professionally trained mediator can help. If an agreement cannot be reached for whatever reason, you may have to make an application to the court who will decide for you both.
If you would like to speak to a family lawyer about any of the issues raised above, contact Keith Doherty on 01689 887 815 or email email@example.com.