The Rise of Over-50s Divorce: A Closer Look at the Reasons Behind the Trend

older couple sitting on sofa refusing to look at each other
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Divorce rates in people aged over 50 have risen over in the past 20 years, particularly recently, coining the phrase ‘silver splitters.’


The rise of the ‘silver splitters’ trend is linked to a number of social and economic changes. People are living longer, sustaining healthier lives, staying mobile and working for longer. Also, many people are more financially indepdendent and can potentially support themselves outside of marriage. With good health, financial independence and children grown up and fled the nest, there’s no reason to stay in an unfulfilling and unhappy marriage.

Over-50s are arguably the most powerful demographic in the UK, they’re collectively the wealthiest, who lead full lifestyles of adventure, investment and learning. It’s a stage where many are in the best position they have ever been in to follow new dreams and aspirations, which if not supported by a spouse, can cause problems in the marriage.

For many people, life after 50 is a new phase, they’re empty nesters and ready to start a brand new chapter of life  -  divorce is sometimes needed to facilitate this new start. 

Why not speak to family law experts Slater and Gordon? As the UK's leading consumer law firm, and our trusted legal partner, they are committed to delivering exceptional help and advice in family matters. Get in touch today.

The key reasons for the growth in divorce for the over 50's?

sad mature man leaning to side with hand on chin

People grow apart – life outlook changes

With children having left home, reaching an established time in your career, pursuing new hobbies and interests can all change your perspective on life.

Attitudes, opinions and philosophies are never static and change as people age; sometimes couples change into different people, and are no longer suitable for each other.

Changing goals and ambitions

People potentially begin to evaluate their life post 50. It’s a stage where many know themselves really well and what they want – and they are in the best position to follow new dreams and aspirations, which if not supported by a spouse, can cause problems in the marriage.

People are living longer

Longer life expectancy is a significant reason for the rise of silver splitters. People are staying healthier for longer and more people are working longer well over the age of 60. A longer working life allows people to sustain themselves outside of marriage so don’t have to remain in an unhappy situation.

Perceptions towards divorce are changing

The way we view post-50 life has changed dramatically and so has attitudes towards divorce. This being said, divorce can be an incredibly painful and emotionally draining process for both parties and should never be done on a whim or taken lightly.

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