Increase in divorce among people over 60

By Lenore Rice

There has been an increase in the rate of divorce among people over 60 years old in England and Wales, while the rate among all other age groups is actually falling.

The figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that 1.6 of every 1000 married men over the age 60 divorced in 1991, and that in 2011 the number had risen to 2.3 out of every 1000. Among women over the age of 60 the rate of divorce was 1.2 out of every 1000 in 1991 and rose to 1.6 in 2011. The number is still relatively low when you consider that the overall rate of divorce for all married men was 10.8 out of every 1000 in 2011 - down from 13.6 in 1991.

A number of reasons are thought to be behind the increase in divorce among older couples. Longer life expectancy means there is a larger population of over-60s than before, there is less stigma around divorce compared to 20 years ago, and more women in their 60s are continuing to work and no longer feel financially reliant on their spouse.

There is also a growing feeling among the over-60s population that they still have many years of a good quality of life ahead of them, and that if after the children have grown up and moved on the spark isn't there, they won't just settle for carrying on in their marriage. At the age of 60 many will feel that they have too many years left to carry on in an unhappy relationship.

If you require legal advice from a divorce solicitor in Northern Ireland, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 1363.

Or to read more information about divorce click here.