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Easy divorce has left elderly lonely and depressed

Monday August 18, 2008 at 10:25 am

A new report is suggesting that divorce and separation is affecting the mental health of millions of older people.

The document from the Institute for Public Policy Research said isolation among the elderly is made worse by the rising number of break-ups and that the tendency of women to outlive their husbands is also contributing to depression and unhappiness.

The findings echo studies carried out earlier this year which discovered divorce reforms at the end of the 1960s – trebling the number of divorces – are having a destructive impact on those now reaching old age.

At Woolley & Co we have been conscious over many years of the increase in the number of divorces especially amongst the over 50s. In fact we've written before on the specific issues for older couples going through divorce. You can read our article Divorce and the Over 50s in the articles section.

The triggers for divorce amongst this age group can be anything from the children leaving home, to a family crisis or a sudden realisation that the couple has nothing in common. This combined with the fact that women are generally able to have greater financial independence by returning to work after raising a family means that more women are in a position to initiate divorce proceedings.

Divorce settlements for older couples can be far more complicated to agree as a result of pensions entitlements, property and saving accumulated over many years. It is essential to take detailed advice from a family law specialist before coming to any final agreement on finances, so that rights are secured.

For advice on divorce and separation arrange a free half hour telephone appointment with Woolley & Co on 0800 3213832.

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