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Long-running study sheds light on 'silver splitter' divorce trends

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A long-running study highlighted by the press in recent days has highlighted a number of surprising divorce trends across the UK.

According to research carried out by think tank, the International Longevity Centre (ILC), the number of people divorcing at age 60 or above grew by more than 85 per cent between 1990 and 2012.

The study suggests that the number of so-called ‘silver splitter’ divorces in the UK is on the rise. However, contrary to previous research, ILC’s survey found that older men aged 55 and above appear to be more likely to divorce than their female counterparts.

As many as 9,443 men divorced over the extensive period studied, compared with just 5,783 women, the report found.

Conversely, the research also found that, up until age 45, the opposite is true; and more women are divorcing than men.

Unfortunately, the report does not shed light on who petitioned for divorce in each instance, but separate research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggests that the overall number of women petitioning and being granted a divorce has fallen far more than the number of men doing so in recent years.

Following the publication of its findings, the ILC has warned that a rise in mid-life divorce could have a worrying impact on many women’s finances – who may earn less than their spouse and have a substantially smaller pension.

Its report read: “[Divorce] may lead to financial difficulties, especially for women who may have been stay at home mums who do not have much by way of long-term savings of their own.

“While rising labour force participation has helped to reduce the financial dependence of women on their spouse, the story is complicated with evidence of a continuing gender divide between men and women in terms of pay, particularly at older ages, and a low proportion of women saving for retirement,” it added.

MFG Solicitors’ family team can advise on divorce and related financial disputes. For more information, please contact us.