A Lichfield firm has launched a new service to help older people get divorced.
The scheme was introduced by Bradin Trubshaw & Kirwan Solicitors after new figures showed a four per cent increase in the number of separations among the over 60s – despite national rates dropping by 11 per cent.Bradin Trubshaw & Kirwan Solicitors believe that divorces within this age group present very different issues from those of younger couples.
Helen Bradin, Partner of the firm, believes divorces within the older age group present different issues.
“Lichfield is definitely showing a trend for an increase in older couples divorcing,” she explained. “Only five years ago dealing with divorce proceedings for clients over the age of 60 was something of a rarity – but now it seems very normal.
“For over 60s divorce really is a different matter. While it tends to be far less acrimonious, issues of pension planning and financial assets arise which can make reaching a settlement very complicated.
“Children have usually flown the nest and mortgages have been paid. This often means considerable sums of money are tied up in property, having been invested and shared between the couple for many years.
“For some families there are business interests, so it simply isn’t as straightforward as a 50/50 down the middle division, especially if one party has started drawing their pension before the other.”
The solicitors, who specialise in matrimonial and family issues, believe the rise in ‘silver separations’ indicates that people are no longer willing to stick with an unhappy marriage in their old age.
Helen added: “We’re seeing couples that, for whatever reason, no longer want to be together and instead of staying together purely for company, are deciding to go it alone in their later life.
“Times have changed and marriage is no longer viewed as an unbreakable bond – people will acknowledge when it isn’t working and act upon it, no matter what age.”