The most popular age to get divorced?Joanna Craig
There were several articles in the press recently about the latest divorce figures suggesting that the only reported rise in the divorce rate is amongst the 60+ age range. This doesn’t necessarily mean of course that this is the most popular age for divorce, merely that there is a new trend – the numbers of those over 65 getting divorced is certainly increasing but in my view the most common age for divorce remains mid-late 40’s.
This may be because younger people have never married in the first place. With short-term relationships or marriages there are often no children or few assets to argue over – it is only when there are children, pensions, property, mortgages and all the other aspects of aging and longer relationships that separation becomes more complicated.
So why more divorces amongst the over 65? Is this simply an aspect of us all living longer and having higher expectations of our retirement? We are no longer prepared to simply settle down with our partner of the last 20-30 years. We may decide that the prospect of possibly 20 years with your current partner and no work as a diversion is simply too much to bear.
It can though come as a shock to anyone expecting to retire on a comfortable pension to suddenly find themselves faced with a Divorce Petition which will involve sharing that pension and possibly selling the matrimonial home and looking at either down-sizing or taking out a mortgage when you least expected it. There are some advantages though to divorce so late – children are generally grown up, possibly even having left university, you are no longer responsible for them in any way, you no longer have to provide a ‘family home’ in the traditional sense. But however old they may be, children still feel the impact and possible pain of their parents’ separation. They may have left home but they would like the possibility of returning to what was their childhood home intact, and also what about the grandchildren?
While the percentage of divorcees amongst the over 65’s is still relatively low, the rate of disengagement is growing fast.
Divorce for the retired certainly has different aspects to a separation where there are young children, mortgages to pay and a career to establish – but similar principles apply. Far better to separate constructively and collaboratively than incur unnecessary legal costs with stressful arguments through the courts. One expenditure which is hard to avoid however, is an actuarial report. Pensions obviously loom large in post-retirement separation and a proper actuarial value of your pension is essential. You will not only want to look at its actual cash value, but also projected incomes going forward for both the male and the female – with their different life expectations they will need different pension pots to produce similar incomes. Never has professional advice in relation to pensions been so important.
For more information or to discuss further please contact Nicky Gough on 07711 527968 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.