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Between 2005 and 2015, the number of men over 60 getting divorced shot up by 23%. For women in the same age group, the increase was even higher at 38%.

This is the only age group in which divorce figures are increasing. In the UK as a whole, divorce rates have fallen by over a quarter in the last decade.

Why are over-60s divorces on the rise?

The reason behind this increase in the number of ‘silver splitters’ in the UK could be a very simple one. According to the ONS, more older couples are getting married. The figures show that the number of people aged 65 or more tying the knot has rocketed by 46% between 2004 and 2014.

There’s also the fact that people are living longer. With a longer lifespan, people have more opportunities and are more likely to marry, divorce, remarry and perhaps divorce again.

Lastly, there are other snippets of ONS data which could explain the rise in marriages and divorces in this age group alone. For example - over 65s are more likely than ever to be working, which potentially means they can support themselves financially outside marriage.

Important things to consider for later life divorces

One of the most pressing issues in any divorce is money, but the financial implications can be greater for older separating couples.

According to Keith Richards, the chief executive of the Personal Finance Society (not the Rolling Stones guitarist), older divorcees can face far more complicated financial affairs than younger couples. Speaking to the Financial Times, he said:

“It often involves dividing a greater amount of assets — such as the family home, pensions, maintenance and tax planning.”

It can be so much harder to untangle decades worth of shared assets and finances, to reach a fair settlement that works for everyone.

If you’re over 60 and facing divorce, here are some crucial tips to remember:

·        Get professional financial and legal advice as early as possible

·        Put pension arrangements at the top of the list

·        Think carefully about what your new single status will mean for your later life, especially from a financial point of view. Do you have enough in your pension pot to retire, or adequate personal savings to cover your lifestyle costs if not?

·        Consider or get advice on the tax implications of decisions like selling jointly held investments

·        Reconsider your retirement plans if necessary – you don’t have the luxury of time to rebuild assets as an individual, so realistic retirement planning is really important if you’re facing divorce.

·        Be open to compromise, to find the best post-divorce arrangement so that both parties can support themselves in later life. 

Ultimately, divorces between older couples can be a little complicated to sort out, especially when it comes to financial, tax and pension arrangements.

If it all sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. You don’t have to navigate any of this on your own. Get in touch with Liverpool divorce lawyer Tracey Miller Family Law for straightforward, practical advice you can trust – call us on 0151 515 3036 or email info@traceymillerfamilylaw.com.