Why divorcing late in life can lead to a poorer old age

Divorce|June 15th 2009

I was recently contacted by a journalist from the Independent on Sunday who had read my previous articles concerning the rise of older people getting divorced. The trend known as ‘silver divorce’ is affecting couples in their sixties who are maybe newly-retired and realising two to three decades ahead of them with the same partner might not be the retirement dream they’d hoped for.

The resulting article, published in yesterday’s paper, offers some interesting points and highlights how the resulting raid on dwindled assets – particularly pensions and the marital home – can lead to a significant impact on the final payout.

For the full article click here – I’ve highlighted the main points below:

  • Assets are generally divided 50:50, particularly if it has been a long marriage.
  • Equity release is an option if one party wishes to stay in the home although it can often lead to a reduced payout.
  • Pensions can be divided at source meaning one party need not rely upon the other to pay their share of the income generated.
  • Your married couples’ state pension will revert to the single allowance and if for example the wife hasn’t built up sufficient National Insurance contributions then her payments would be significantly curtailed. However, the wife could apply to have her husband’s National Insurance record.

As I’ve said before, divorce in later life can be worse than a bereavement but to ensure it doesn’t rid you of your retirement dreams take the best advice, as the article says is to increase your own financial awareness so that if it does happen you at least know where you might stand.

Author: Marilyn Stowe

The founder of Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers. She retired from Stowe Family Law in 2017.

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