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Rise in the number of over-60s getting divorced

There has been a jump in the number of people over the age of 60 getting divorced. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show:

  • The number of men aged 60 and over granted divorces reached 9,500 in 2011, a 73% rise from 1991
  • There was a similar trend in the number of older women getting divorced, 5,800 in 2011, a sharp rise from 3,200 in 1991

The rise is partly down to an increase in the number of over-60s living in England and Wales. The figures are the second highest on record. The highest was in 1972 after the Divorce Reform Act came into effect, making it easier for couples to separate.

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Supreme Court to rule in tycoon divorce case

A Nigerian oil tycoon should today discover whether he has won a legal fight with his estranged English wife.

The Supreme Court - the highest court in the UK - is due to rule on the cash dispute between Michael and Yasmin Prest following a hearing in London in March.

Divorce lawyers are watching the Prests case very closely as it could have significant implications. Credit: Martin Gerten/DPA/Press Association Images

Legal experts say the ruling could have significant implications for divorcing couples.

Mr Prest won the last round of the fight in October when the Court of Appeal ruled that he did not have to hand property worth millions of pounds to Mrs Prest.

Appeal judges concluded that a High Court judge had wrongly ordered Mr Prest to transfer properties held in the names of companies he controlled.

Mrs Prest then asked the Supreme Court to overturn the appeal court's decision.

Government to put more money into divorce 'mediation'

New funding for mediation services to help separating couples will bring the total spent in 2013 to £25 million.

This comes after changes to court processes last year, meaning that couples seeking a court order about child contact or financial matter, must first attend a mediation assessment session.

  • The average time for a mediated case is 110 days, compared to 435 days for a non-mediated case
  • The average cost of resolving property and finance disputes caused by separation is around £500 through mediation for a publicly funded client, compared to £4,000 for issues settled through the courts

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Third-party help encouraged for separating couples

The first working day in January has been dubbed 'Divorce Day' by the legal sector Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire/Press Association Images

In a bid to avoid "traumatic" courtroom battles, separating couples are being asked to consider third-party mediators.

The Ministry of Justice said that the number of enquiries about separation soars during the post-Christmas period, with the first working day in January being dubbed "Divorce Day".

According to Family Justice Minister Lord Thomas McNally, mediation is used as a quicker approach, to longer, more expensive court hearings.

The Government will put a further £10 million into mediation services, which can save publicly-funded clients £3,500.

Children affected by divorce

  • Half of couples divorcing in England and Wales in 2010 had at least one child aged under 16 living in the family.
  • There were 104,364 children aged under 16 who were in families where the parents divorced in 2010.
  • Over a fifth (21 per cent) of the children in 2010 were under five and 64 per cent were under 11.
  • The Norgove Report in 2011 confirmed that fathers have no rights in law to see their children.
  • 1 in 3 children are growing up without a father. Thats 3.8 million children in the UK.

Clegg: 'Both parents have a responsibility and a role'

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: "Both parents have a responsibility and a role to play in their children's upbringing and we want to make sure that, when parents separate, the law recognises that.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says "both parents have a responsibility and a role" in their children's upbringing Credit: Reuters

"Children should have the benefit of contact with both of their parents through an ongoing relationship with them.

"This is why we are publishing proposals today setting out that, where it is safe and in the child's best interest, the law is clear that both parents share responsibility in their upbringing."

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