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Choosing to divorce in later life

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Divorce at any age can be incredibly difficult for everyone involved, including those who choose to separate at an older age. There are many factors to consider – the family home, children, and an array of complex financial issues.

Despite this, later life divorce continues to rise. In this article, we’ll be discussing the world of ‘silver splitters’ and why it has become so common.

Divorcing in later life

It was once a rare occurrence for older couples to get a divorce. Many of the older generation still keep with the traditional view of sticking with their partner through the good and bad times, but now more than ever, couples are choosing to divorce in later life.

Statistics show that the number of men divorcing, aged 65 and over, increased by 23% between 2005 and 2015. And, the number of women divorcing, who are in the same age category, increased by 38%.

But why is this happening? It seems to be that the increase in ‘grey divorces’ is because people are now living longer. And older individuals now have the opportunities to be well-connected, both socially and financially. People are more independent than ever, with many being able to support themselves outside of marriage.

Things to consider with a grey divorce

If you and your partner have been married for many years, your financial situation might be a tricky one to navigate. You may well have acquired several assets throughout your marriage, so will need to consider the following:

  • Your pension and how best to share it
  • Dividing the family home that is close to being or is mortgage-free
  • Tax implications for any investments you both have
  • Any children who require financial support from you
  • Costs for your Will, inheritance planning, and future care

How do pensions get split when you divorce?

If you’re a silver splitter, you’ll likely be wondering how pensions are shared in a divorce. When you start your divorce online, you can seek expert legal advice on how to protect your entitlement to your pension.

Pensions can be shared based on income or value – they are typically split based on income when you and your partner are approaching retirement age.

There’s no set rules as to how your assets and income will be divided, including your pension, but the general starting point is 50/50. However, this can be adjusted if either of you don’t believe this is fair.

Starting a new chapter

If you’re currently an older couple going through a divorce, we recommend you seek the right support to help guide you through the process. Separating from your partner of many years might have you feeling particularly overwhelmed, but getting help from qualified legal experts will ensure you’re treated with professionalism and empathy.


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