July 7, 2022

Why is the rate of silver splitters divorce increasing?

The divorce rates for those of retirement age are on the increase. We have all seen many changes because of the pandemic but one of the things the expert family law solicitors at Holmes & Hills have experienced is a significant increase in the instructions received from those aged 65 and older. As the occurrence of divorce in the older generation has become more common, divorce in later life has been termed as ‘silver splitters divorce’ or ‘grey divorce’ in the media.

Silver splitters cite lifestyle choices as a main driver for divorce

There are many reasons why people choose to divorce in later life.

Still, one of the most common reasons cited to the Holmes & Hills Family Law Department is simply the difference in lifestyle that the parties wish to adopt in their retirement years. With children having left the home, there can be a significant difference in how couples want to live out their retirement years.

Due to lifestyle choices, many people are now living longer and wish to be more active in their later years. It is frequently quoted that the other partner is simply happy to stay home and that’s simply not the life they wish to have, especially with life expectancies on the increase.

How to protect your assets during silver splitters divorce

The starting point for the division of the assets in a long marriage is one of equality. All assets are considered including the parties’ pensions. Each case is individual and there may be valid reasons for departure from equality based on several relevant factors which can be advised upon once financial documents and a detailed history have been provided.

If there are significant assets it is often sensible to seek independent financial advice as well as legal advice as to the consequences of divorcing in later life. There may be cases where Judicial Separation or a Separation Agreement may be advisable to preserve pension benefits or inheritance tax advantages which will otherwise be lost on divorce.

There are other factors which may be relevant such as capacity issues. If one party lacks capacity, they may have to be represented by their Attorney or if no Attorney has been appointed, by the Official Solicitor. Other health issues may be relevant if one party needs additional financial support to meet the cost of care.

Considering an amicable and collaborative approach as a silver splitter

If possible, it is always sensible to approach any divorce in later years on an amicable basis. This may not be possible if one party is opposed to the divorce however in circumstances where there may be children and also grandchildren to consider, it is always best to give consideration to how you can separate in such a way that you still can come together for the celebratory events of the family you have of course both created. A collaborative approach may be a more sensible approach which involves reaching an agreement through a series of round table meetings rather than in a courtroom.

If you require further advice or assistance then please make an appointment to meet with one of Holmes & Hills' expert divorce solicitors at one of our offices in Sudbury, Tiptree, Coggeshall, Halstead, Braintree, or Colchester (Marks Tey).

What is the first step to getting advice?

Call us on 01206 593933 today to speak with one of our family law specialists.
Or send an email
Key Contact

Sue Wardropper

Senior Solicitor


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