Record number of older males divorcing, says study

A record number of older men are divorcing their wives in pursuit of new relationships, a study has revealed.

The research, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), says the number of “silver splitters” – those in their 50s or 60s – has increased.

Traditionally, more women than men divorce their partners in all age groups, but this study indicates that the tide is slowly turning.

Experts say men are in the driving seat when it comes to divorce in older age, because, statistically, they have the financial power to move on.

The study found that in every age group under 45, more women are divorcing than men. But this changes when men move into their 40s, 50s, and 60s.

For those aged over 60, 9,443 men divorced compared to 5,783 women.

The ONS said: “In 2014, the number of divorces was highest among men aged 45 to 49 and women aged 40 to 44.

“This represents a change for men, since between 2005 and 2013, divorces were highest among men aged 40 to 44.”

The ONS added: “More women than men divorced below the age of 45; at older ages more men than women divorced.

“This pattern reflects the fact that on average men marry women who are younger than themselves.”

A separate report, published by the International Longevity Centre, found that the number of over-60s divorcing rose by 85 per cent between 1990 and 2012.

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Alison Green
Alison joined Mackrell Turner Garrett in 1989 and qualified as a solicitor in 1991, becoming a partner in the firm in 2010.