Last Updated on 15.2.23 by Nicola Fraser
The prospect of living longer and the desire for an extended sex life are just two reasons an increasing number of the over 60’s – including those in their 70’s – are getting divorced.
Known as the ‘silver splitters’, it seems that fewer and less punitive financial restrictions are also a reason why marriages in this age group are increasingly breaking down.
It used to be the very idea of splitting up was completely at odds with those who had been married for 30 years. But now with greater life expectancy, the fact that people are healthier, looking after themselves and looking better, the thought of staying in the routine of marriage is no longer appealing.
There are some clients who perhaps want a longer sex life rather than sink into the belief that over 70 that part of their marriage is no longer important.
Divorce among people aged 60 and over in England and Wales has risen since the 1990’s, according to the Office of National Statistics – while among the rest of the population, it has fallen (with a slight rise in 2012) More than 11,500 over-60’s were granted a divorce in 2009; a rise of 4 per cent in two years.
Another reason is that as this generation become increasingly tech savvy, more people are hooking up with childhood sweet hearts over the internet and through social media. Which can be the catalyst for a break up.
However this demographic are also now being referred to as the pension boomers thanks to changes in the law about how couples divide a husband`s pension.
Thanks to the Welfare Reform and Pension Act 1999, if a petition was issued after 1 December 2000 a spouse can apply for the courts to make pension sharing orders which means a husband or wife may have to split their pensions. The older generation have the better pension schemes, often a final salary scheme, so there is more to go round.
It may also be a time when age gap relationships come home to roost. Ten years is nothing, it’s flattering, when you’re 20 and 30. When you’re 70 and 80 it’s a totally different scenario.
Clients have said they don’t want to spend the rest of their life with an ‘older person’ There’s an element of being in charge of their own destiny. One party might take on new hobbies or look better. The other might want to stay at home.
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