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Has the recession increased divorce rates?

During a recession, external pressures such as fears about redundancy and financial worries can take a toll on people’s relationships. But, does this really translate into more marriages ending in divorce?
Statistics released from the Office of National Statics (ONS) seem to support this theory. The statistics followed not just the latest recession, but the peaks in 1980, 1990 and 2000. These peaks, and the recent rise, all coincide with the UK being in recession.
The ONS statistics show that the number of divorces in 2012 has risen by half a per cent from 2011 to 118,140, and that this has bucked the yearly downward trend since 2003. However, in 2010, the number of divorces rose significantly, by almost 5 per cent. This has led the ONS to speculate that the rise, after a number of years of divorce decline, is due to the financial strain of the recession.
Of the 118,000 divorces granted in 2012, almost 50 per cent of the marriages ended within the first 10 years. This figure represents the end of 13 marriages every hour in 2012.
In addition to these figures, there is a growing trend for ‘silver divorces’, with over 15,500 divorces involving men and women in their 60s.
So, why did it take a couple of years for the figures to increase after the recession started? Family lawyers believe that this could be a result of couples thinking that they can now finally afford to split up after the financial hardships of the recession, where it was more difficult for people to re-mortgage and to afford other costs associated with separation and divorce.
Whatever the reasons for this recent rise in UK divorce rates, it is clear that it is important to make the divorce as amicable as possible for both parties and to take expert advice from lawyers who will act efficiently for you without incurring unnecessary costs. We have a range of finance options available, including fixed fees, payment plans and our newly introduced DIY Divorce package with lawyer assistance. To discuss the best option for you, contact our experienced family lawyers in complete confidence – call Doncaster 01302 320621 or email

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