October 7, 2011

Hidden cost of divorce for over-50s revealed

Divorce can be a stressful enough process without the worry for newly single people of how they are going to cope financially after the split is finalised. At Jones Myers we’re sparing a thought today for the rising number of couples divorcing almost at the point of retirement – where the vast majority of the wives have had no major financial responsibility for the whole of their married lives.

According to the ONS, more than 50,000 over-50s were divorced last year – a rise of 10 per cent on 1999. A new study by Tesco Bank has revealed that only a quarter (26 per cent) of the women surveyed who divorced in their fifties were involved in big financial decisions whilst they were married. The study also showed that one in four never considered saving, a third had never applied for a mortgage and 10 per cent have never had any financial products or accounts in their name.

And yet, post-divorce, most of these ladies are having to set up a home, open bank and savings accounts and seriously consider their financial future for the very first time. That said, nearly two thirds (64 per cent) stated that divorce gave them a sense of financial freedom, and a similar number (63 per cent) said that sorting out their finances was quite empowering, helping them to focus through the trauma. Interestingly, this contrasts sharply with the men surveyed, of whom only a third agreed with this sentiment.

Man or woman, divorce can be emotionally draining for all. At Jones Myers we’ve built up a reputation for expertise in complex financial matters. Perhaps less well known – but just as important – is our commitment to helping clients with every aspect of their divorce, including support at the most basic level such as guidance on banking and where to get more in-depth advice.

We’re also champions of collaborative law, which offers a far less adversarial – and usually cheaper – process that guarantees financial and children’s issues will not end up in court. With our help, most people are able to work through the divorce process with minimal emotional and financial stress – whatever their age.

Have you gone through a divorce after your 50th birthday? Share your experiences with us below or via email.