According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, divorce amongst those aged 65 and over is on the rise. People living longer, a shift in society’s attitude towards divorce, and significant life events such as the Covid-19 pandemic, are all potential contributing factors to this ongoing trend. 

If you’re at or approaching this stage of your life, and a divorce or separation is something you’re considering, you might be wondering what the future looks like. Here we’ll be looking at some of the ways in which you can make the transition as positive as possible. 

Avoid your ex if that’s what needs to happen

Whilst some couples can remain on amicable, even friendly terms once their relationship is over, others can’t. Once the dust is settled, think about what’s best for you here.

If things are contentious, or you’ve left behind a toxic or narcissistic spouse or partner, there’s really no reason for you to stay in touch on any real or meaningful level if that’s not what you want. If you have children, you may need to be in one another’s company for events such as weddings or other celebrations, but beyond that, it’s all about prioritising yourself.

Be sure to have an open and honest conversation with your children about your feelings, as they’re likely to be old enough to understand and respect your position here.

Embrace friendships and new connections

Marriage and long-term relationships often result in shared social lives and friendship circles. When they end, it’s all too easy to feel isolated and alone.

Consider who has been by your side during your separation, and who you’ve been able to rely on for help and support. It’s very likely that those people have been there for you because you have a solid friendship, something you’re likely to need as you move forward with your new life.

Remember also that divorce can be a new beginning, and signal a time to make new friends and connections. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and try new things, as you’re highly likely to make new friends along the way.

Look after yourself and your wellbeing

It might sound like a cliche, but this is important. Divorce can be an exhausting process. Getting enough sleep, eating well and taking regular exercise are all great ways to look after your emotional and mental health.

Understand your options with reliable financial advice

It goes without saying that having expert legal advice throughout your divorce is the best way to ensure an outcome that works for you and your future. The same can be said for seeking financial advice.

Once your divorce is final, and depending on what kind of financial settlement (if any) you’ve agreed to, putting plans in place to ensure that you have a level of financial security is never a bad idea. With the right legal and financial advice, the better your chances of having a comfortable retirement with an adequate pension provision are.

Seek support if you need it

Going through a separation or divorce can be very traumatic. Even if there aren’t complex matters to work through and negotiate, it’s still a big life change. This is especially true if you’ve been married for a long time, with fears about what life after divorce might look like leading to feelings of anxiety and overwhelm.

It’s easy to be sceptical, and dismiss professional counselling or therapy as being unnecessary, or even self-indulgent. But the truth is that sometimes, an objective view and outside guidance can be just what the doctor ordered, helping you to work through any unresolved emotional issues and set objectives for the future.

When all is said and done, bouncing back from divorce at any age can take time and patience, and giving yourself the space you need to heal is crucial. If you’d like to talk through your options regarding a divorce or separation, why not have a chat with a member of our friendly team? At Harrogate Family Law, we’re here to help.