How to find a divorce lawyer in Cape Town, South Africa

Age and divorce

Am I too old to get divorced? I read an article in a Sunday newspaper dealing with a couple who got divorced after fifty three years if marriage.

In the abovementioned case the man in the divorce was interviewed after the case. He was 75 years old and his ex-wife 71 years old. He explained that he and his ex-wife were like any other couple who had their odd differences every now and then.

The man in this case explained further that he believed it best to get divorced, as he and his ex-wife could even live until the age of 90 and that it is perhaps best to get divorced now and enjoy the last years of their lives separately from each other. The couple had five children together.

In the abovementioned case the dispute was over R510,000.00. In terms of the settlement agreement the man was awarded R485,000.00 (R250,000.00 for his half share in the fixed property and R235,000.00 in terms of the settlement amount). The lady, his ex-wife was in the end awarded a half share of the house and R1000.00 maintenance for 12 months.

In my personal experience as a divorce and family law attorney, it is far more common for a much younger couple than in the abovementioned case to seek legal advice from me in respect of getting divorced, although it is not uncommon for an “elderly” client to consult me. The “old” client scenario occurs in about one out of ten of my cases.

The main reason why I believe that young couples get divorced far quicker than older couples is because they are unable to deal with the pressure of raising young children, particularly in tough economic times as at the moment with the recession. Instead of trying to save their marriage the younger couple would then rather opt to get divorced.

The “older” couple normally have had children together who they have raised. Their marriage has withstood a lot over the years usually, with all the pressures involved in raising their children. They are therefore less likely to get divorced than a younger couple.

The “older” couple often realise that they are too old to meet someone else and decide rather to stick out the marriage. They can also look after one another from a health perspective.

However all marriages can break down irretrievably, whatever the age of the parties. I, as a legal practitioner am more than prepared to assist anyone, no matter what the age. Once you reach a certain age your time is limited, and it is sometimes in your interest to enjoy your last few years without being in a marriage. Nobody is ever too old to get divorced.

article written by Cape Town divorce lawyer, Peter M Baker

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