Divorcing Later in Life

No matter what age you are, for many, divorce is a very upsetting and life-changing situation, which affects both parties involved and potential children.

If divorce is being considered later in life, there are some slightly different matters to agree upon.

According to the latest divorce statistics, the most common age for people to get divorced is between the age of 46-47 for men and the age of 43-44 for women. However, divorce trends vary significantly across the different age groups. Divorce rates are decreasing among younger couples, whereas there has been a noticeable increase in ‘silver splitters’ – older couples deciding to part ways later in life.

With divorce and re-marrying being more accepted in today’s society, it could mean couples divorcing in their 60s are simply acknowledging the fact their love life doesn’t end after divorce. People are also living longer and marrying in their 30s instead of their 20s, which is another reason why divorce is happening later in life. Women are more financially independent than before and generally, people won’t stick to a marriage if it isn’t worth it. This is unlike their parents or grandparents where it was unheard of to separate which in turn would have resulted in an unhealthy or miserable marriage. 

Our divorce lawyers at Lamb Brooks have experience and expertise in untangling long marriages for couples who are ready to go their separate ways. They share some insight into further considerations when divorcing later in life.


The End of the Marriage

It’s tough on anyone when a relationship or marriage breaks down but if you’re saying goodbye to a 20, 30, or 40+ year marriage it can be a monumental hill to overcome. The difference in divorcing at an older age is that you’ve built a life together by sharing a property, having children and grandchildren, and growing a circle of friends, so it’s even harder to imagine a life ahead with the partner you’ve grown up with.

Solicitors and advisers assisting those who are facing the ending of their marriage must ensure they handle matters sensitively, whilst also ensuring they give clear, pragmatic advice to help put their client in the best position to recover from their divorce.


Children are sometimes the reason why couples try and stick it out, however, when you’re divorcing at an older age, children tend to be grown up with families of their own so aren’t dependent on the parents anymore. This does not mean they won’t find the news heartbreaking. All they have known is their parents being together so it might come as a huge surprise to them, so breaking the news gently is vital.

Finances and Assets

Finances and assets are typically the hot topic of discussion when a marriage ends. If you’re divorcing but close to retiring, organising the pension pots will be critical. Pension schemes can be quite complex and may come with hidden benefits which need to be properly looked.  The input of a financial adviser is often helpful from the outset.

It has long been recognised that if one spouse has taken on the primary role of homemaker or stayed home to raise children, then they should not suffer when it comes to division of finances as their sacrifices have allowed their partner to gain a higher earning potential.

When couples have spent a lifetime together, there are plenty of years to build up sizeable assets, but also own items of great sentimental value. At this point in their life, the family home may be mortgage-free or of high value. Both parties either agree to sell the matrimonial home or decide who stays and who buys the other out. Houses, especially family homes, come with great sentiment so selling up isn’t always desired, however it’s completely up to the couple on how they wish to proceed.

For older couples divorcing, their assets may include holiday homes, cars, art collections, collectables, antiques or art.

Divorcing a Second or Third Time

With many people deciding to re-marry later in life, divorce lawyers are often working with clients who have experienced divorce before. Divorce isn’t something that gets easier the more times you do it, however, you might be a little clued up with the process. You may have a pre-nuptial agreement in place, in which case, this needs to be addressed first.

If there are assets or children from previous relationships, then these are also areas for discussion during divorce proceedings and are ideally agreed upon between each other.

Moving On

Moving on might seem difficult at first, especially because you and your ex-partner were a unit for many years prior. Learning to be independent again will help you to move on and steer you in the right direction. Do not be afraid to ask for additional support, that’s what family, friends and the community are for. Divorce lawyers are used to helping clients who were perhaps historically reliant on their partner to take care of all their finances and bills. There are a number of spouses who are not aware of where their investments are held or even have their own bank account until after they separate.

Whether the divorce came as a surprise or not, consider protecting your assets for your next relationship (if you choose to have one) as this will prepare you for the future. It is always advisable to re-visit your will after divorce to ensure that your estate will be dealt with as you would wish and if you do find love again, it is worth considering how you protect your assets built up before the new relationship by way of a pre-nuptial agreement or cohabitation agreement.

Legal Advice on Ending Your Marriage

If you are thinking of divorce or have received a divorce application from your spouse and need some advice on how to move forward, please contact our specialist Family Lawyers on 01256 844888 or email enquiries@lambrooks.com.

Alternatively, you can speak to our online chat assistant, who is a real person, not a robot, via the website at any time of day or night.

Our team of solicitors are adept at advising on separation after a long marriage and will always strive to help couples part ways with dignity and clarity.

Lamb Brooks LLP
Victoria House
39 Winchester Street
RG21 7EQ
01256 471 085
© Lamb Brooks is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority - SRA No 559661. Lamb Brooks LLP (registered at Companies House OC363909) whose registered office address is: Victoria House, 39 Winchester Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7EQ