Soaring silver splitters: more over-50s are untying the knot

Its that time of year when the tabloids have a feeding frenzy over the Office for National Statistics’ annual divorce figures.

The big headline this year is the first increase in 7 years of the number of divorces and the biggest of the rises in the over 50 age group.

This comes as no surprise to my colleagues and me: we’ve seen a really significant increase recently in the number  of ‘later life’ divorces and at any time have a number of clients in their 70s and even 80s. 

Reasons vary but I do believe that increasing longevity has a part to play in it: couples who might have expected ten good years together after retirement may now be looking at two or three decades…and they don’t always like what they see. 

Dividing up assets at this stage in a marriage can require some careful navigation : what’s in the matrimonial ‘pot’ and had been expected to cover retirement under one roof will now need to stretch across two. Careful advice from a financial planner and an actuary is often essential. For many of my clients, this may be the start of a whole exciting new life …for others a traumatic end to one they were really very fond of.

Either way, looking to find a sensible settlement that helps my clients move past the divorce and on with their new lives as soon as possible is key. 

Divorce rates in England and Wales have increased for the first time this decade according to the Office for National Statistics.

There were 106,959 divorces of opposite-sex couples in 2016, an increase of 5.8 per centĀ compared with 2015, with menĀ and women getting divorced at a rate of 8.9 per 1,000 married people - up 4.7 per cent.

The last time there was an increase in divorce rate was between 2009 and 2010.