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Rise in People Over 60 Getting Divorced


At a time when divorce rates overall are dropping, the divorce rate amongst people over 60 is on the rise. Ridley & Hall looks into this trend of ‘silver splitters’.

According to the Office of National Statistics, divorce among people aged 60 and over in England and Wales has risen since the 1990s whereas, among the rest of the population, it has fallen overall.

In 2011, nearly 9,500 men in this age group divorced – an increase of almost three-quarters compared with 20 years earlier. The trend for women is similar. And it’s not just because there are more older people now.

Vicky Medd, head of the Family department at Ridley & Hall said, “There are many reasons why divorce in the over 60s may have increased. Divorce has lost a lot of its stigma now; Whereas those who are now in their 60s would never have dreamed of divorcing when they were younger, legislation and public opinion has changed in the past 40 years. From a financial point of view, Legal Aid is no longer available for divorce matters but people in their 60s may be in a better financial position to separate due to having a good pension and the mortgage being paid off.”

vickie-medd-hs“When people retire, their life can completely alter, with working life having stopped, the children have grown up and left the family home and lots more time is being spent with their partner. Some people deal with it better than others. They may want to take up a new hobby or pastime that does not interest their partner and this may have led to a parting of ways. For some people, they want to make a fresh start in this new chapter in their life.

“However, divorce for the over 60s can present its own challenges, for example, special provision for looking after someone with ill health. At Ridley & Hall, we are experts in dealing with people living with dementia and their carers.”

For any legal advice relating to Family law, please contact Ridley & Hall on 01484 538421 to arrange a free 30-minute appointment.

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