England 12/08/2013 – After years of increasing divorce rates, the UK has finally seen a significant drop in the number of people who are filing for divorce.
The latest figures show that since 2010 the number of divorces in England or Wales has fallen by 1.7%. However, this does not mean that family law solicitors are not being kept busy. Many are still dealing with child custody issues from earlier divorces and taking the parents that they represent through the CSA appeals process.
Unfortunately, around 42% of marriages are expected to end in divorce, which means that for the majority of family law firms divorce will still represent the bulk of their work. These days, many of the people that they represent are aged over 60. So-called silver divorces are growing year-on-year. Given the fact that more of the people that are getting divorced are older many in the industry expect that the divorce rate will not fall much further over the next few years.
In 2011, 118,000 couples were granted a divorce. Of those, 9,500 divorces were granted to men aged over 60, which is a 73% rise from1991. The exact reason behind this trend is difficult to pin down. However, it is thought that changing social attitudes means that more people are prepared to divorce later in life because there is less social stigma attached to doing so.
In addition, the fact that people are living longer is also thought to be playing a part. Researchers at the ONS said, “Even with a small chance of divorce during each year of marriage, marriages are now more likely to end in divorce and less likely to end in the death of one spouse than they were in 1991.”
The Impact of the Recession
The recession is also thought to be largely responsible for the slight decrease in the number of divorces in the UK. Whilst increased financial strain definitely puts more pressure on couples, it seems that many feel that, in the current economic climate, they simply cannot afford to get divorced. Forward thinking law firms such as Berkson Globe, who provide family law services, have noted this trend and are moving towards fixed pricing. By doing so, they are providing unhappy couples with a much needed, viable, and affordable way to separate and move on with their lives.