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As CFLP blogging is taking a break next week, we thought we’d leave you with a link to the Telegraph’s Story, “Divorced at 60: I regret staying with my husband” in which CFLP’s partner Adam Moghadas is quoted extensively, as follows:

Adam Moghadas, a partner at the Cambridge Family Law Practice, has seen a rise in the number of older people coming to him for a divorce and believes the disappearance of a “past stigma” surrounding divorce are contributing factors. “People are living longer, women are more financially independent, there have been a lot of societal changes in recent years that contribute to the rise in older people looking to divorce. Often I hear the phrases ‘looking for freedom’ or a ‘sense of identity’ from clients that they’d previously not been able to attain during their marriage.” 

He also cites changes in how society now perceives sexuality as a possible reason for older couples filing for divorce, “they’ve essentially lived a lie and now they’re tired of it, they want a new life.”

Divorce is often called selfish. Those who oppose it cite the lasting damage it can do children – no matter the age. But when it comes to those who choose to divorce at a later stage in life, Adam says they are often more “considered and resigned” than those younger than them. 

“I find people coming to me, not to divorce, but to just ask me questions about the process and where they stand and then I won’t hear from them for weeks, days, months and – in one case – years. But then they do come back to me and say, ‘Oh, I should’ve done it back then.’ 

“There is definitely a pressure placed on them to stay and try to make it work. They have children, they have grandchildren, and there’s this feeling of, ‘Why can’t you just soldier on?’ It becomes a much more considered decision to divorce at a later age. They are much more purposeful and have a clearer intent of mind. They know what they’re doing, and what it can mean for their family but they’re at a point where they feel ‘I’m at this stage in my life, if I don’t do it now, when?'”

… Adam refers to the ‘mid-life crisis‘ as reason for divorces rising in the ageing population: “Older men will run off with younger women, though it’s not just men – I had an older woman run off with a younger woman recently. But, and I feel a lot of people don’t consider this, the idea of rehousing is a big worry for them.”

“Financial security is incredibly important for people at that age. When you’re divorcing in your 30s or 40s you think ‘it’s ok, I still have at least 20 years to sort everything out and get back on my feet’ but the later you leave it, the more you begin to worry about how you’ll survive alone financially so they continue to put it off.” 

Adam also suggests differences in the way men and women behave and perceived gender roles as a reason for putting off divorce until later life: “Men typically have a fear of not knowing how they’ll cope alone. Things like cooking and washing clothes. They’ll say “I know I’m not in love with her but…” and they’ll stay because they feel like they can’t do things alone.” 

“We also have to consider that men, typically, don’t have the same kind of support network that women have. Women, when something like a divorce happens will pick up the phone and call their friends to help them through it. Men don’t do that, there’s a sense of isolation there.”

If you have any queries about divorce in later life, or any other family law matter, please do call 01223 443333 and make an appointment to see Adam, Gail, Sue, Simon or Tricia.