Although the overall rate of divorce in the UK is declining, the number of ‘silver separators’ between 1990 and 2012 rose by 85%. It is estimated that by 2037, 10% of all divorces in the UK will be in couples who are 60 or over, a 41% rise from 2012. This could, in turn, lead to an increase in isolation in older people and a greater need for formal care to cope with rising levels of poverty and sickness as a result of couples being ill-prepared for a divorce.
The International Longevity Centre UK believes these statistics could be due to couples now marrying later in life being more exposed to the risk of divorce at older ages because their marriage is still fairly recent. In addition to this, working women are now finding themselves to be more financially independent, attitudes to divorce have become more accepting as it has become more commonplace and an ageing population has led to more marriage ending in divorce as opposed to the death of a spouse.
Richard Willets, director of longevity at Partnership Assurance said: “While divorce at any age is likely to be a painful experience, the older you are, the more likely it is to have a negative impact on your health, wealth and general well-being”
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