Divorce rates in England and Wales have steadily increased in recent years amongst people over the age of 60 (sometimes referred to as “Silver Splitters”) who, although they may not have to worry about caring for young children, may be more preoccupied by the sharing out of assets when they separate.  There may be mortgage-free properties and pensions to consider, for example.

Often, one party in a marriage may take the primary role in managing money, so, when it comes to considering assets and liabilities on divorce, there may be some difficulty in ensuring that both parties have a full and clear picture of their position.

The Divorce process is the same for Silver Splitters as for any married couple but for specialist Family Lawyers there may be other key considerations, such as the need to update Wills during the procedure.

Expert advice from pension advisors, accountants, estate agents and independent financial advisors may be helpful from an early stage.  Family Lawyers will recommend the involvement of relevant experts as soon as possible in order to help both parties plan for the future.

Once agreement has been reached as to the extent of assets and liabilities in the matrimonial “pot”, negotiations can begin as to how to divide them.  Each case will be different and, whilst agreement may come quickly for some, for others there may be dispute over how best to resolve matters.

Mediation is a tried and tested way for couples to engage in direct negotiation and reach a financial settlement.  Mediators are neutral, impartial third parties who, although they cannot advise a couple, can enable them to develop proposals, thereby potentially saving both time and money by avoiding contested Court proceedings.

For some, however, there may seem no alternative but to apply to the Court to resolve the financial aspects of their divorce.  The Court process offers the benefit of a fixed timetable to move matters forward, although there is ongoing encouragement for couples to reach their own financial agreement and step outside the process where possible.

It is always advisable to consult a specialist Family Lawyer at the earliest opportunity when dealing with the breakdown of a relationship.  With offices in Banbury, Bicester, Brackley and Buckingham, Spratt Endicott’s specialist Family Law Team can help clients consider their next steps.  For more information, or to arrange a Fixed Fee Interview, contact Sandeep Sandhu on 01295 204154 or email: ssandhu@se-law.co.uk.

*Disclaimer: While everything has been done to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this article, it is a general guide only. It is not comprehensive and does not constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should be sought in relation to the particular facts of a given situation.*