Recession blamed for rise in divorce rate


On 8 December 2011 the Office of National Statistics published a report setting out the divorce statistics for 2010.

For the first time since 2003 the number of divorces in England and Wales rose.  The increase of 4.9% meant that there were 119,589 divorces in 2010 compared to 113,949 in 2009.


Although it is too early to say whether the rise in divorces will continue, it is suggested that it may be due to the recession.  The current economic climate increased the financial strain on all partnerships and social research has shown that unemployment and downturns in the housing market may be associated with family instability.   However, there are likely to be other couples who would prefer to wait for an economic recovery to improve their finances before commencing divorce proceedings and therefore divorce rates may continue to rise, at least in the short-term.


Despite the current rise, the number of divorces fell steadily between 2003 and 2009 in line with the decline in the number of marriages and the long term trend does appear to be the number of divorces will continue to fall or at least flat-line.


The divorce statistics show that the number of divorces was highest among men and women aged 40 to 44 and the most common ground relied upon is the other parties’ unreasonable behaviour.  Perhaps the most depressing statistics are that of the marriages that end in divorce the average duration of marriage was 11.4 years and half of the couples had at least one child aged under 16 in the family home of which 64% were under 11.


Before commencing any proceedings it is essential that you take advice on the possible effects of separation on both your family and finances.  We offer an initial meeting at a fixed rate of £100 plus VAT during which we will talk you through the various options.

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