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Mortality a growing issue in divorce

Mortality a growing issue in divorce

A growing number of divorcing couples can’t agree on death plans, says a leading firm of divorce lawyers.

Longer life expectancy and rising property values have made inheritance a problem area for many couples, says JMW Solicitors, making it both a greater priority and a growing source of friction.

The law firm, which handles around 300 dissolutions a year, says divorcing couples are increasingly unable to agree about plans for their own death and around 10% of the firm’s cases now involve arguments about aspects of mortality.

Many involve older couples married in later life, including widows and widowers and those with children or property assets from earlier relationships.

Official figures show recent increases both in the numbers of older people getting married and those getting divorced.

These sorts of arguments are rarely the only issue contributing to a divorce but they are among the most sensitive, particularly where one person has been divorced or widowed before, and wants to be buried next to their first spouse.

Discussions about cremation and ashes can also cause friction.

The number of people over 60 heading to the divorce courts – the ‘silver splitters’ – has risen by 45% in a decade in England and Wales. But at the same time the number of men aged between 65 and 69 who got married in 2012 jumped by a quarter. For women in the same age group, the increase was just over a fifth.

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