Divorced over 60s turn to equity release mortgages

By Lenore Rice

New research suggests that a significant number of over-60s divorced and separated couples are turning to equity release mortgages in order to split up their assets.

One in 10 of all equity release mortgage products is taken out by someone who is divorced or separated, and on average separating couples are releasing £63,300 from their home - over £20,000 more than married couples releasing equity from their properties.

Equity release mortgages work by lenders giving a lump sum or income loan against the value of the property, with the amount being repaid with interest out of the sale proceeds when the property owner dies. For many couples their jointly-owned property is their principal asset, and so separation will often require a sale of the house, or an equity release mortgage. The latter allows one of the partners to remain at the property, effectively purchasing out their former spouse's interest with the proceeds of the equity release mortgage.

Divorce among over-60s has increased in the past 10 years according to figures released by the Office of National Statistics.

If you require legal advice from a divorce solicitor in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 1363.

Or to speak to a property solicitor about lifetime mortgages call 0800 840 9290.