Why It’s Too Early To Celebrate A Drop In Divorce Rates
Peter Jones, Founder, Jones Myers
The Government has recently released figures highlighting a 5% drop in divorce rates from 2016-2017 which, on the surface, is welcome news.
However, confirming a sustained decline in the number of people divorcing requires comparing and contrasting several years of statistics to understand the true picture.
Key findings of the report include unreasonable behaviour remaining the most common cause for both opposite sex and same sex couples splitting up.
While the volume of divorces among same-sex couples has more than trebled between 2016 and 2017, statisticians attribute this to the fact that marriages for same-sex couples have only been introduced in England and Wales since March 2014.
The average length of a marriage between opposite-sex couples of 12.2 years matches figures from 1972 – debunking the ‘seven-year itch’ myth.
Break ups among the most recent newlyweds have dropped by 59% over the first three years of marriage from a 47% peak across the first five years, and 27% for the first decade.
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The figures also reaffirm the percentage of marriages break ups remains at 42% - half of which occur in the first 10 years – a figure The Divorce Foundation projects will improve to 35%.
In the latest report a government statistician says that while divorce rates for opposite-sex couples are at their lowest level since 1973 - around 40% lower than their peak in 1993 - in 2017 they were higher in older people compared to 1993, perhaps due to our increasingly ageing population and people getting married later in life.
Aligned with changing attitudes, each successive decade brings different social dynamics which affect particular age groups who become more likely to divorce. Despite the lack of legal protection for cohabitating couples, latest figures show that more couples continue to opt to live together. It is also inevitable that the drop in the number of people marrying will result in fewer couples seeking a divorce in the future.
Sadly behind every divorce statistic lies a real life story of emotional distress – even more so when children are involved.
The Jones Myers team has further expanded with the appointment of highly experienced family law solicitor Rachel Baul.
Based at the firm’s Harrogate office in Windsor House, Rachel’s specialisms include high net worth financial cases involving business and trust assets in the UK and overseas.
Caption: Extensive expertise: Rachel Baul (centre) with l to r Jones Myers partner Sarah Dickinson, director Richard Peaker and partners Andrew Fox and Kate Banerjee.
Regularly representing sports professionals and members of the medical profession, Rachel is also experienced in pension assets and drafting cohabitation and pre-nuptial/post-nuptial agreements involving significant assets.
Jones Myers guides clients through relationship breakdown problems, the process, finance and children issues – supporting them through a challenging period which involves difficult decisions about the future. www.jonesmyers.co.uk
Why It’s Too Early To Celebrate A Drop In Divorce Rates, 22nd March 2019, 9:22 AM