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Retirees and Family Law: Divorce and Second Marriages

View profile for Francesca Cozens
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Retirees and Family Law: Divorce and Second Marriages

A look at the world of ‘grey divorce’ and second marriages for retirees. Learn about essential aspects like finances, perceptions, and alternative approaches. Whether facing late-life divorce or contemplating marriage after 65, we provide guidance on the unique challenges and joys of relationships in later years.

Grey divorce’ what a delightful term. I think that is up there with being referred to throughout my pregnancy with my son as a ‘geriatric mum’ (I was 36 - apparently, having a baby over 35 made me a geriatric!) Charming!

Life is changing; we are living longer; it was perhaps easier in days gone by to agree to remain married until ‘death do us part.’ In 1901, men’s life expectancy was around 45; in 1950, the average expectancy was 69; in 2024, this is expected to rise to around 82.

Do not get me wrong, I am not anti-marriage, quite the opposite. I am married myself. We got married a little later than the average couple, so I hope that despite my family loving wedding cake (on average x2 marriages each), we will remain married, but none of us has a crystal ball. I wonder if life would be easier if we did or whether we would be more inclined just to put the duvet back over our heads. All we can do is face challenges as they arise and prepare ourselves in the best way that we can.

Contemplating divorce in later life? Things to consider

  1. You may not have dealt with finances and budgeting before; this can be incredibly daunting. A course is being run for free to Essex residents called The Better Divorce Course and is designed to prepare and equip you for your next chapter.

  2. Shame? There used to be a stigma attached to divorce; thankfully, society has caught up with reality, and this is no longer the case. A lot of support is available; you are not alone and need not feel lonely. You can be in a relationship and feel lonely; you can be alone and not feel this way.

  3. What do you want? Take time to consider what you want. Sadly, everyone will have an opinion, but their opinion does not matter. This is your life; you choose how to live it. Think 6 months ahead: what would you like your life to look like?

If you choose to divorce, I assure you that it does not have to be like you have seen in the movies and television. It can be calm, measured, and civilised. I specialise in something called Collaborative Law; you would have a specially trained solicitor, as would your other half. We all meet together and work together as a team to find a fair resolution that works for you and your family. You are fully supported throughout the process.

Getting married over 65? Key considerations

Congratulations! Increasingly, the population is marrying later, and many enter the institution more than once. Marriage is said, on average, to extend your life two years longer than your unmarried counterparts.

What do you need to think about marrying later in life?

  1. Pension income – if you have been married before and are widowed, you need to think about your income. If you are receiving your late partner’s pension, then this is likely to stop on your remarriage. You should take independent financial advice

  2. Protection of inheritance for your children – Remarrying impacts on inheritance. It is important to obtain expert advice to ensure that in the event of your death, your wishes are protected. You may also wish to consider the benefits of a pre-nuptial agreement. Both will be covered in future blogs.

  3. Who would manage your affairs if you could not? – Should this be your new husband/wife, your grown-up children, or someone else? This could create conflict within your new family unit. A discussion in advance of marriage, with the right expert advice, means that everyone is clear and you have the security that your wishes are clear.

  4. Marriage is not the only option – you could choose to live together – you should still obtain advice on how to protect your finances should the relationship breakdown or one partner die.

I offer a free 15-minute preliminary chat over the telephone to explore how I can best help you. There is no obligation, and you can decide how to proceed once you know a little more about the options available to you. I can be contacted on 01245 453843 or via email at

The contents of this blog are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this blog.