How to advise those divorcing in their 60s

  • Identify how divorces among those in their 60s+ differ from others
  • Explain how to treat multiple properties among divorcing couples
  • Describe how the courts treat the split of assets

However, the other party may be surprised, disappointed, and immediately negative about the process.

The best advice that can be given at this moment is that, if a divorce is going to happen, then it should be managed and not resisted.

The divorce will happen anyway and strong resistance will only unravel the prospects of an amicable outcome and take away the opportunity to cooperate and, furthermore, will add time and expense to the process.

If both parties can come to terms with an imminent separation, then the highest of all the hurdles will have been cleared successfully and the process will become one of finding solutions. 

In a long marriage, the liquid assets and property will almost always be divided equally and the matrimonial pot will be calculated by applying valuations to each of the assets.

However, calculating the size of the pot is easier said than done.  

Expert advice is invaluable in resolving many of the thornier problems that often arise for silver splitters in this regard. 

It is imperative, in my professional experience, that clients seek early financial advice from an independent financial advisor (IFA).

An IFA will be able to produce logarithms to identify how capital and income can be made to last throughout retirement and give a clear indication of potential future expenditure patterns.

Most parties will have to budget to meet their capital and income needs.

At first blush, this might appear to be a daunting challenge, but once working solutions are in place there may well be a joint sigh of relief from the parties as they can project forward with a greater degree of certainty.

It is crucial, in my view, that an IFA is involved from the outset of the client’s instructions to help shape the settlement.

The final negotiations upon an agreement often reflect the financial advice that the parties have received. 

Capital gains

The parties should seek tax advice to maximise outcomes and mitigate the tax that would otherwise arise upon the terms of the settlement.

For example, the value of the main home can usually be divided without CGT consequences.

However, the division of further properties could give rise to CGT and measures to mitigate this are most easily achieved by parties taking joint decisions arising from early tax advice.

For example, it is important that any second home is transferred between the parties in the tax year that they separate.

They would be ill advised to separate immediately before the end of the tax year as this would give rise to less flexibility in relation to a tax effective settlement.