Divorce rate rise sees over-50s turn to lawyers for advice

John Hewitt Jones

October 19, 2016

divorce sad couple

An increase in the number of later life divorces has led those approaching retirement to turn to law firms for help with their mortgage, according to research by Key Partnerships.

Rising rates of divorce among over-50s is causing a spike in demand for financial advice and the changing nature of the family has left one in three law firms concerned they are unable to provide suitable advice.

More than one in three (35%) of law firms fear their advice on property finance and mortgages goes beyond their core expertise, while two-thirds of law firms believe equity release loans could help.

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Will Hale, director at Key Partnerships, said: “Splitting assets on divorce is challenging enough but for the over-50s there is the additional pressure of having to fund a new home when mortgage lenders are reluctant to help older borrowers.

“There is a growing demand for solutions which enable clients to buy a new home after divorce and law firms are coming under pressure to provide advice on an area that is not necessarily their core expertise.

“Equity release enables one partner to remain in the home while allowing property wealth to be shared and is a growing alternative for settling property issues at divorce. Equity release can also be used to boost funds available for a new purchase by releasing money on the new home.”

Over-50s are the only age group to see a rise in divorce rates over the past 10 years despite total numbers of divorces falling. Analysis shows nearly 32,000 over-55s are divorced each year – across the UK the total number of divorces is 126,700.