The Financial Times has written this article for financial advisers on how best to help those clients who are divorcing later in life. The rise of the so-called “silver splitter” is set out in an official study showing that the number of people over 60 getting divorced has risen by three quarters in just 20 years. Parting in later life is likely to have particular legal issues which need to be carefully considered. The assets in the ‘matrimonial pot’ may well be significant and sometimes complex, and inheritance planning may have to be reviewed too. Pensions may already be in payment and a re-evaluation of financial planning in retirement is likely to be needed. One or both of the couple may have physical or health difficulties, and in some cases its even possible that mental health could be failing or already impaired. As this piece highlights, there are a number of very specific potholes to avoid when giving both financial and legal advice.
There is an increase in divorce among older couples, the “baby boomers” who expect to live life to the full. The children are grown and have left home some years ago. Many find themselves thinking they do not want to stay in a loveless marriage, the prospect of retirement & spending time with each other is not such an attractive option. Financial issues and worries loom large, particularly where one party is financially vulnerable if they have never worked. Advisers should encourage clients to get legal advice as soon as possible so the solicitor can obtain undertakings from the other party not to dissipate assets. There may be a lifetime’s worth of savings and pensions but sometimes it will be challenging to make ends meet in retirement let alone with the prospect of funding separate homes and lives.