Statistics reveals more older Australians seeking divorce

Date: Jun 24, 2014

New statistics have revealed that more Australians over 70 are deciding to seek a divorce.

Data from the Family and Federal Circuit Courts reveals from 2010 until mid-2013 there have been more than 3,600 divorce applications made by this age bracket.

This isn't a new issue, however, with Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data showing that the number of seniors seeking divorce has been increasing steadily since the early 1990s. Females over 50 years old who applied for a divorce accounted for 6.3 in every 1,000 divorce applicants in 1993. By 2011, this figure had increased significantly to 15.2.

In 2011, the national average for divorce was just 2.2 per 1,000 people which shows how prominent divorces have become among older generations. With Australia's ageing population, these figures are predicted to increase further in years ahead.

Relationships Australia Manager Sue Yorsten told the Daily Telegraph that women commonly outlive their partners so are more willing to move on sooner to enhance their quality of life as they get older.

"It is tied up with living longer. Women are saying well, we're going to have all these years in retirement and now what? I am going to do what I want to do," she explained.

Divorces between older couples could also be blamed on recent cases highlighted in the media.

The Daily Telegraph highlights the example of Monty Python star John Cleese who, at the age of 74, divorced his third wife, 64-year-old Faye Eichelberger. Mr Cleese reportedly brought his Alimony Tour to Sydney last year to raise money after the divorce.

In 2010, the Family Court also proceeded over a divorce case featuring an 89-year-old wife who was separating from her 90-year-old husband. She successfully claimed that her husband had been violent towards her and the divorce was granted.

Reportedly, the oldest divorcees in history split in 2011 after a 99-year-old husband found that his 96-year-old wife had an affair back in the 1940s. The Italian couple had been married for 77 years when the proceedings were finalised.

Divorce proceedings in NSW

A divorce is a difficult time for all involved, especially when you get older. This is why it is important to seek the best legal advice to ensure the process is as stress-free as possible for everyone.

Craddock Murray Neumann has a team of specialist divorce lawyers that can help give you all the options available after the break-up of a marriage.