An interesting survey from Nationwide Building Society (of over 230 people) highlighted a mixed view of couples who separated over 50. In the last 20 years the Office of National Statistics has shown a 75% rise in people over 50 getting divorced.
The report does not seek to suggest reasons for this but people living longer, mortgage companies now lending to people in some cases until 85 years old and a less traditional view of marriage/divorce are several reasons which may explain the rise
The report said that nearly 25% of people surveyed said that they had sold up the family home as part of the divorce. The report however, did not investigate the reasons why people were selling the matrimonial home. The reasons may be:
1. Necessity - if someone is getting divorced for the first time and they are over 50, the matrimonial asset split is almost always going to mean the matrimonial home will either be sold or transferred to one party
2. Emotional reasons - if a home brings bad memories then selling it may bring some peace
3. Lifestyle choice - someone divorcing over 50 may be part of a lifecycle where children have left home and a smaller house frees up capital.
As the starting point for dividing capital in a divorce is 50/50 the conclusion in the report that 58% feel worse off as a result of the divorce process is hardly surprising .
However, Andrew Baddleley-Chappell Nationwide Building Society's head of savings for mortgages and savings painted an optimistic picture by saying:
"However, for some, there may be a silver lining, as our research suggests that parting in later life can bring increased happiness, new interests and maybe even another chance at love".
For further details go to www.nationwide.co.uk