Divorcing later in life? What challenges could I face?

Apr 20, 2016

There has been a big increase in older couples deciding to end their marriage later in life. The Office of National Statistics figures released for 2013 (the latest figures) show that in all ages groups divorce is in decline, except in those who are over 50 years old and has doubled in the last 40 years.

The challenges that older people can face when they get divorce will be different to those who are younger, but they can be just as challenging. When you are older and you split there are added complications such as dividing a pension, the family home and how to split assets if one of the partnership has stayed at home with the children for much of their life.

Although you won’t need to worry about the upheaval of moving home with your children after your divorce as they will probably already have left home, it could be a very worrying time if you have supported your spouse through their career and stayed at home.

Your future could be uncertain and you may be worried about how the financial aspects of your divorce will work out for you. The usual position is that assets are split 50/50, particularly where there has been a long marriage.

The next challenge for you both will be how to split your pensions. One of you will probably have a larger pension than the other and therefore this can cause some tension when negotiating the terms of the financial settlement.

You will also want to think about how you will support your children and protect their inheritance, particularly if you go on and meet someone else. Many people don’t realise that they can accidently disinherit their children when they remarry, unless they leave a Will and protect any assets using a trust in their Will. That means if there is any property to inherit, your new spouse can stay there until they die and once that happens, your children can still inherit it.

Leaving everything to your new spouse and hoping they give your children what you would expect is not a good way to protect your wishes.

Make sure if you are divorcing later in life that you get good advice on the financial aspects of your divorce, particularly on the pension. People often forget, a pension can be the most valuable asset next to your property. Then make sure you get a Will that reflects your new circumstances.

Call us now for advice on your divorce and Will on 01264 353411 or contact us by email on family@bsandi.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help you.

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