We have seen, in our firm, an increase in individuals over 60 instigating Divorce Proceedings and bringing their long marriages to an end. Most of those people married during a time when marriage was for life and you “stuck at it” whether or not it was good or bad.
The reason for the increase in “silver splitters” appear to be as follows:-
- People living for longer;
- People in previous unhappy marriages feel they are able, to divorce if unhappy;
- Individuals outlook on life change, personalities have changed over time particularly after their children have left home, and they have different interests or hobbies which lead them to meet new people
- Different age gaps and individuals own health. Most likely a younger person is married to an older person with say a 10 year age gap but they don’t wish to spend the rest of their years caring for the other party
- Affordability – both parties are financially independent either of each other.
It is worth noting that in England and Wales in 2011 more than 235,000 people Divorced. The average age of people Divorcing in 2011 was 44½ years for men and 42 years for women.
It is also interesting to note that second marriages are more likely to be successful than first marriages.
It is noteworthy that 34% of marriages are expected to end in Divorce by the 20th wedding anniversary.
There have been concerns raised about “silver splitters” as follows:-
- Loneliness in older age if one party has decided to bring the marriage to an end and has found somebody else the individual left behind and may feel lonely
- Loosing contact with your child or children if they choose to side with one parent over the other;
- Some may also feel ashamed that their marriage has come to an end.
Deciding whether or not to Divorce you need to consider your position very carefully. There is evidence to suggest that older people who Divorce often regret their decision later wishing that they had considered Relate in order to see if they could save their marriage rather than simply bringing it to an end.
Here at Harrison Clark Rickerbys we try to assist by encouraging and supporting individuals who come to see us at the later stages in life. However if the marriage is not salvageable it is vitally important that Divorce is dealt with as sensitively as possible in order to cause the least amount of stress and strain.