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Rise in Divorce Rates Amongst the Over 60s in Scotland

The BBC recently reported that the number of divorces in England and Wales has been falling since the 1990s. However, one age group which has seen a rise in divorce rates is the over 60s. Indeed, the Office for National Statistics noted that there has been a rise of 73% in the number of divorces in this group over the past 25 years.

The latest civil law figures have shown that Scotland is also following this trend.

Divorce Rates in Scotland

The ageing population is a major factor in this rise. A married couple may try to stay together for the sake of their children. When their children grow up and leave home the couple might find staying together more difficult.

Older couples might also find that the divorce procedure can be much easier and cheaper when children under 16 are not involved.

As our population ages we are all living longer and expect to lead full lives well into our retirement. This could lead to an elderly couple deciding to move on rather than put up with a marriage that has fallen apart.

With these factors in mind, what difference might age make to a couple’s divorce or separation?


A couple who have been married for a long time may have built up considerable assets over the period of their marriage. A house will normally be the most valuable asset that a couple own. The next most valuable property will likely be their pensions. The impact that divorce or separation could have upon this asset becomes even more significant for people who are nearing retirement age.

The Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985 specifies that pensions and life insurance policies are considered matrimonial property. Matrimonial property is the property acquired by either party, or both, prior to their separation. Each party is entitled to a share of this property on divorce.

It is often the case that the husband’s pension is larger than the wife’s. This can be a result of the wife taking time out of her career to raise the family. This is something that can be taken into account by the courts.


You may wish to consider the impact that separation and divorce will have upon your estate when you die. You may want to redraft your will to account for you no longer being married.

It is very common for couples to separate but never get around to formally divorcing. It is important to remember that if you are still married to your spouse they will be entitled to make a claim upon your estate when you die.

What Procedure Is Right For You?

If you do not have any children under that age of 16 and you can agree about your finances and property, you might want to follow the simplified divorce procedure. This can keep costs low.

Many couples opt for a separation agreement. This agreement will normally cover issues such as finances and property. This is a mutually agreed arrangement that is legally binding.

There are various procedures available to a separating couple. An experienced family lawyer can talk you through the best option for you.

Contact Family Law Edinburgh

If you are considering separating from your partner then get in touch with Family Law Edinburgh today. Our expert solicitors have a wide range of knowledge and experience within divorce, separation agreements, child contact, wills and estate management. This means we can advise you fully on the best option for you.

Contact us today on 0131 516 7510 or complete our online enquiry form

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