The link between the Menopause and Divorce
Menopause is a significant life transition that affects women as they approach middle age, but menopause and its links to divorce is something solicitors have been considering recently whilst undertaking menopause awareness training.
It can be a time of physical, emotional, and psychological changes and whilst menopause itself does not cause divorce, it can be a contributing factor to the breakdown of relationships say family solicitors.
Menopause and Divorce
Over the past few decades, there has been a significant increase in divorces among older adults in the UK, something the Pearson Family Solicitors have been well aware of. Our team have recently undertaken specialist sensitive training to help women going through menopause feel comfortable enough to highlight it during their divorce.
Did you know that eight out of ten women said that perimenopause or menopause had affected their relationships and home life.
We often get initial enquiries from women over the age of 40 considering separation and further down the line many of them state that their divorce and menopause often seem to go hand in hand as it puts a strain on family life.
Recently our Family and Divorce team took part in specialist training to help female clients going through the menopause feel comfortable enough to highlight it during their divorce.
Menopause brings about a range of symptoms which may put a strain on relationships; it also often coincides with other life changes, such as children leaving home, career shifts, and ageing parents, which can create additional stress and divorce solicitors are now taking it into consideration as these psychological adjustments may be causing couples to re-evaluate their lives, including their relationships.
“The training helps us spot telltale signs and, more importantly, help steer couples towards alternative resolution and mediation, which is a less combative course of action which could be helpful at an already stressful time,” said Divorce Solicitor Emma Kendall.
“Of course, no fault divorce does help reduce some of the stress involved for couples, but it can still become fractious, especially where finances are concerned, and as solicitors, we have a responsibility towards our clients.
Indicators our Family Solicitors look out for are:
- A vulnerable client lacking in confidence
- Struggling to remember facts
- Finding it difficult to deal with hostile correspondence
- Finding deadlines challenging
- Struggling to talk about finances
Menopause Divorce Rates
Divorce in later life trend is often referred to as "silver splitters" or "grey divorce" and the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that the divorce rate for opposite-sex couples aged 55 and over has more than doubled since 1990.
Now it would seem this trend is getting earlier as the average age for divorce is now 47 for men and 45 for women; right at the time life changes hit couples.
Menopause in the workplace has hit the headlines recently, with BUPA reporting that nearly one million women have left the workforce as they felt a lack of support for their symptoms.
Older couples who divorce tend to have been married for a longer time, and so often, there can be a complex web of financial considerations. Here a solicitor experienced in financial provisions is essential to help couples navigate what is necessary.
“When older couples come to us and their children have grown up, a financial settlement is a way of sharing their assets accordingly, which is very important for future financial certainty,” said Emma.
“Whilst they no longer need child care arrangements in its place comes pension sharing, financial provision for retirement and a final financial order,” she added.
Recent ONS surveys found that the median duration of marriage for men aged 60 and over who divorced was 29.2 years, while for women in the same age group, it was 31.7 years.
“When a marriage of such longevity breaks up, there can be a lot to untangle. Some assets may be in one person’s sole name, and one spouse may not know the full extent of their marital wealth. It is vital that specialist advice is taken,” added Emma Kendall.
“Divorce in later life can have significant financial implications, and couples may face challenges rebuilding their financial security.”
How can we help
For legal advice on divorce and family-related issues contact our Divorce Solicitors on 0161 785 3500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.Subscribe to our newsletter
Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.