The festive season can take its toll on relationships, with a sharp rise of divorce instructions typically being received in January and February.
The release of divorce statistics from the Office for National Statistics in 2018 show that whilst divorce rates for opposite-sex couples in England and Wales are at their lowest level since 1973, the percentage of marriages ending in divorce could still be considered fairly high, at around 42%. Around half of these divorces are expected to occur in the first 10 years of marriage. However, once the 20th wedding anniversary is reached, the cumulative percentages increase less rapidly. What is also notable is that among older people rates are actually higher in 2017. This could be because of the increasingly ageing population and that people are getting married later in life.
Unreasonable behaviour was the most common reason for couples divorcing; also often causing the most conflict. However, “no fault divorce” is on the horizon. On 15 September 2018, the Ministry of Justice published a consultation paper,
consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/reform-of-the-legal-requirements-for-divorce. The Government is proposing to remove both the ability to allege fault and the ability to contest a divorce. The reformed law should have 2 objectives:
- to make sure that the decision to divorce continues to be a considered one, and that spouses have an opportunity to change course; and
- to make sure that divorcing couples are not put through legal requirements which do not serve their or society's interests and which can lead to conflict and accordingly poor outcomes for children.
Divorce will always be difficult, but the above measures, if implemented, could make help remove blame and recrimination. We always aim to deal with divorce sensitively and constructively at Wilson Browne Solicitors.
Give our Family Team a call on 0800 088 6004 to see how they can help.