Call us: Mon - Fri 8:30am - 7pm, Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm
Call local rate 0330 056 3171
Mon - Fri 8:30am - 7pm | Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm
Call local rate 0330 056 3171
Mon - Fri 8:30am - 7pm | Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm

Divorce doubles among over 65s

The number of divorcees over 65 years old has doubled in the span of a decade.

According to the latest census data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), nine per cent of people in that age group had been divorced by 2011. However, during the previous census in 2001, only 4.5 per cent had experienced a ‘silver divorce’ by that point.

An ONS report on the data suggested that one significant factor in this increase could be increased life expectancy and better health. As people live longer and stay active later, they may be more interested in pursuing a new relationship than previous generations were.

Another possible explanation could be the increase in financial independence among women, the ONS speculated. Women are now more likely to reach retirement age with good incomes after long careers.

During the same time period, cohabitation among older people almost doubled. In 2001, only 1.6 per cent lived with a partner but that number had jumped to 2.8 per cent by 2011.

The report noted that, despite these statistics, the majority of over 65s in the UK – 57 per cent – were married.

Harry Benson is research director for campaign group The Marriage Foundation. He said that “couples are marrying later and the age at which they divorce is going up as a result”.

While there is a definite increase in silver divorces, “the idea that divorce is booming among older people is an illusion”, he claimed.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

Contact us

As the UK's largest family law firm we understand that every case is personal.

Leave a comment

Help & advice categories


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up for advice on divorce and relationships from our lawyers, divorce coaches and relationship experts.

What type of information are you looking for?

Privacy Policy