Recent divorce figures have caused many that work in the industry to debate the cause of such a slump. The rate has fallen to its second lowest point since 1976 in England and Wales.
One point that is being discussed is whether or not the double dip recession has had any impact on the drop in divorce rate. Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that 10.8 per one thousand are currently getting divorced compared with 11.1 during 2011. On a proportional level, the percentage of marriages that ended in divorce two years ago was 42 per cent whereas this figure stood at 45 per cent back in 2005.
Office for National Statistics
When revealing the findings of this survey, the ONS intimated that the steady decline may be due to the fact that less people are actually getting married at the moment – something which could also be recession related. This data however is only reliable up to 2009 so this would need closer analysis before it becomes conclusive. The body went on to describe how more and more couples are choosing to live together for long periods of time before choosing to get married – it is thought that this filters out the relationships that won’t last the test of time before wedlock.
Up for Debate
As is often the case with scenarios such as this, many factions from the industry have conflicting theories about reasons and effects of this drop. Some divorce lawyers are of the thinking that marriages tend to remain stronger when asset prices fall and times are somewhat tricky financially – there is also sufficient evidence to suggest that the rate of divorce surges after a recession finishes. Figures from the last two economic downturns indicate that this may well be the case.
One firm in particular noted that when the downturn was at its very worst back in 2008, there was a big drop in business around divorces but when things such as annual bonuses emerged the following year – business if this kind picked up substantially. Research from other companies does suggest that tough times financially can be the catalyst for break ups – presumably straining relationships and pushing them over the edge.
This said, the divorce rate for senior citizens is actually on the rise. This has been put down to the accessibility of the internet and the new social groups that this can result in.
Written by Joesph Naylor on behalf of BPS Law in Manchester. Joesph is a retired solicitor and like to blog about the subject when he can.
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