Number of divorcing couples drops according to recent figures 19 Jun 2013

Historically, January is the busiest time of year for divorce solicitors with the number of enquiries from individuals seeking a divorce at its highest in January. It is sometimes the case that already built up tensions reach boiling point over Christmas and New Year or perhaps  if children are involved a couple may decide to defer divorce proceedings until January, opting to have one last Christmas as a family.

However, latest figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveal that the number of divorces in England and Wales in 2011 has dropped to 117,558 and is down by 1.7% since 2010.

The figured also showed that:

  • In 2011, 10.8 people per one thousand married,
  • The number of divorces in 2011 was highest among men and women aged between 40 and 44,
  • Based on marriage, divorce and mortality statistics for 2010 it is estimated that 42% of marriages ended in divorce compared with 45% in 2005,
  • 49% of divorcing couples in 2011 had at least one child aged 16 years old or under,
  • There were 100,760 children aged under 16 whose parents divorced in 2011, a decrease of 31% from 2001.

There are a number of reasons which may explain the fall in the number of divorces. Firstly, the fall in divorces is consistent with a decline in the number of marriages taking place since 2009 – a factor which may be due to the increasing number of couples choosing to co-habit rather than to marry.

The ONS also cite the recession as having an impact on the number of divorces, with couples postponing a break-up until the economy and the value of their home improves.

In order to obtain a divorce, you need to demonstrate to the court that your marriage has broken down irretrievably. To do this you need to rely on one of the following supporting ‘facts’:

  1. That your spouse has committed adultery
  2. That your spouse has acted in such a way that it is unreasonable for you to be expected to continue living with them
  3. That your spouse has deserted you for two years
  4. That you and your spouse have lived apart for two years and your spouse consents to the divorce
  5. That you and your spouse have lived apart for five years, whether or not your spouse consents to the divorce

If you are seeking a divorce contact our specialist divorce solicitors at Osbornes who can guide you through the process and give you an indication of the costs involved depending on your situation. If you are separating from your partner whom you are not married to and there are children and or financial assets involved you may also need to seek legal advice. It should be noted that the law for divorcing couples is different for co-habiting couples.

Osbornes also offers mediation as an alternative to going to Court. The mediation process can reduce the cost of a divorce, make the whole process quicker and can result in a more amicable relationship between the divorcing couple going forward. Partners, Mark FreedmanBridget Thompsonand Lisa Pepper are all trained mediators.

To go through your case with you Osbornes offers a fixed-fee one hour initial consultation meeting.

To contact a member of our family law team you can contact us by:

Written by Julian Beard

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