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Why more people are divorcing and starting again in their 50s and 60s

More people than ever are divorcing and starting again in their 50s and 60s. Here are a few reasons why couples are more inclined to consider divorce at this stage in life, even after a long marriage.  

Why we’re more confident about divorcing and starting again

We’re living longer – these days, as we approach retirement our own parents are often still alive and that’s making us realise we have many years ahead to enjoy life.

Attitudes to old age have changed – nobody expects us to slow down any more. It’s perfectly acceptable to start new hobbies over 50 – or even a new career.

We don’t want to settle for second best – in the past husbands and wives stayed together because they were expected to make do, even if they were unhappy. Now we realize we have the power to make changes.

There is greater equality – women rarely spend their lives in the home and tend to be far more financially independent than they used to be. This gives more confidence in being able to leave an unhappy marriage.

Everything is happening later – it could be argued that life happens later now – marriage, children and even divorcing and starting again.

We’re more financially secure – by the time we reach our 50s and 60s we probably have a home with a small or non-existent mortgage and some investments. Divorcing at this stage in life means there is usually enough money available to allow both sides to start again comfortably.

The children have left – there’s no longer any need to keep up appearances for the children. Once they have left home and become financially independent  parents can focus on their own needs at last.

Retirement is looming – the prospect of retirement is a catalyst to divorce for many people. Perhaps we can’t face the prospect of spending more time together and realise that this is the right time to live apart and maybe even start a new relationship.

We’re more self-aware –as we reach our 50s and 60s we have the benefit of age and experience. We understand ourselves more than ever before and we know what we want and what makes us happy, making us more confident about divorcing and starting again.

Andrew Meehan is individually recommended for family law by both Chambers 2017 and the Legal 500 2016. He is also a Resolution accredited specialist solicitor for divorce cases involving complex financial and property matters.

This article has been prepared with the aim of providing general information only and does not constitute legal advice in relation to any particular situation. While we aim to ensure that the information is correct at the date on which it is added to the website, the legal position can change frequently, and content will not always be updated following any relevant changes. In addition, everyone’s circumstances are different and this article is provided by way of general information only and must not be relied upon. If you require legal advice on a family law issue, please feel free to contact us by emailing Harrogate Family Law accepts no liability whatsoever in contract, tort or otherwise for any loss or damage caused by or arising directly or indirectly in connection with any use or reliance on the contents of any part of our website, except to the extent that such liability cannot be excluded by law.

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