Marilyn Stowe: A last chance to have it all

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The Independent Online

I've seen a significant rise in the number of people getting divorced in their fifties and sixties. There are a number of reasons, one of which is that as a generation, they've got wealthier, healthier and have higher life expectancies.

The fallout from this is utter boredom and feeling trapped. A lot of people I meet have retired too soon, and have become bored. Because they are affluent, they can afford to get divorced.

They are from a generation with far more material wealth than the generations before them, with less of a emphasis on religion. They are less likely to think about the moral issues of divorce and its impact on third parties. Their ethos is that you can have it all. They think: "I'm only here once and I intend to make the most of it."

At this age, divorce doesn't necessarily occur because the couple have problems – it's more that one of them might want a relationship with someone else. If so, there's a stark choice to be made, with serious repercussions on the rest of their family, and it's very sad. But it's a very emotional choice for the person leaving too, because they see it as their last chance of happiness.

Marilyn Stowe is a celebrity divorce lawyer