September 6, 2018

How empty nesters can avoid becoming another divorce statistic

When the fun and flurry of preparations for students starting university or college has finished, life’s next chapter also begins for their parents.

For many ‘empty nesters’, this milestone marks the beginning of their lives without children in the house. It can also bring to the surface long suppressed irritations and tensions that have bubbled under the surface, but whose impact may have been lessened by the demands of children and busy lives.Two decades of hectic work and child care schedules can result in parents losing touch with each other and becoming different people to the couple who tied the knot.

In today’s climate of longer life expectancies and greater financial independence, the empty nest syndrome is a key factor to wives and husbands splitting up rather than spending the next three two or even decades together.

Before becoming another ‘grey divorce’ and empty nester statistic, consider the following steps:

Express your feelings

Communicating honestly and openly and sharing and expressing your feelings and concerns is vital. Long-standing relationships deserve time, careful consideration and discussion. Go for a long walk in the country or to the seaside: it is the ideal setting for an exploratory conversation or to clear the air, as it is very difficult to go any distance without talking.


Being free of parenting responsibilities can be a great opportunity for couples to take up new interests or return to fun hobbies they enjoyed in their pre-children days. Having more time to focus on each other will rekindle rapport and affection. Marriage is a partnership – go back to being on the same team.

 Create a life plan

People running or involved in business would not dream of operating without a plan. Preparing your future together also requires a well thought through plan which includes finances and key goals and aspirations such as moving house, hobbies and holidays. This focus is key to help you maximize your pre-retirement and retirement years and devising it before the children move away will help the transition.

Keep communicating

There is no substitute for ongoing dialogue and communication. If your marriage is in a rut – get out of it. Set up a weekly ‘date night’ and share and discuss your exciting plans for your golden years and adventures.

Until you are actually without somebody you have shared most of your life with, you cannot know how much you will miss them. If your marriage is worth saving you will find solutions to your problems.

For information about divorce and finances, family or children law or Contentious Trusts and Estates, call Jones Myers at our Leeds office on 0113 246 0055, our Harrogate office on 01423 276104, visit, email or tweet us @helpwithdivorce