Divorce – A rise of divorce rates in older couples

The National Statistics Office show a steady rise in divorce in couples over the age of 50 in England and Wales, with 26,967 men in 2000 getting divorced compared to 33,618 divorcing in 2012.

With the rise of couples over the age of 50 getting divorced, this has resulted in an increased demand for rental property. When a couple separates, their finances must be untangled often leaving one or both parties financially worse off without the contributions of the other spouse. Where one house would meet the needs of both spouses during the marriage, now through the divorce process, they must each find separate houses to live in.

Each party’s housing requirements will still need to be met. Where older couples have plenty of assets, this can be easily remedied through the sale of those assets to enable one or both parties to purchase suitable housing. The issue arises where one or both parties are unable to rehouse themselves without the benefit of a mortgage. At an age when consideration should be given to pensions and savings upon retirement, divorcing couples over the age of 50 are finding themselves having to source funds to meet their housing needs. Often, where there are limited finances available in a marriage, one or both parties may end up renting property either temporarily or in the long term.

With older couples, the process of separation and divorce can be much harder. When considering how to split the matrimonial pot of assets, the court must look at a number of factors, such as each parties’ earning capacity, their housing needs, their pension provision and their standard of living during the marriage. With older couples, their earning capacities will be much shorter and any payments by one spouse to another is unlikely to be earned again in the paying party’s working life.

Particular consideration must also be given to an older divorcing couple’s pension provision. With little time to recoup any reduction in their pension (through payment to an ex-spouse), couples need to give attention to the long term implications of sharing their pension pot.

Different priorities are given at different ages. Our solicitors at Hunter & Uro will protect what is important to you in the divorce process. Contact us on 01234 889777 for a free confidential consultation. Serving Bedford, Northampton and Milton Keynes, our lawyers can help you with your family law and divorce matters.


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