Could the end of the recession lead to a rise in divorce rates?

According to the results of a survey carried out by law firm Grant Thornton UK LLP, the economic upturn is likely to lead to an increase in divorce rates.

Three quarters of family lawyers who took part in the survey say that embattled couples were waiting till the recession had passed before starting divorce proceedings. In addition, almost half of the family law firms surveyed said that they had experienced a fall in the number of divorce cases.

85 of the UK’s leading family law firms took part in Grant Thornton UK LLP’s survey which was carried out as part of its tenth annual matrimonial study.

Grant Thornton UK LLP’s partner in forensic and investigation services, Nick Andrews, said: “In tough economic times, when people’s budgets are tight it is perhaps not surprising to see a fall in the divorce rate.

Now that there is continuing positive economic news, it could be that the divorce rate will start to edge up again.”

The survey also shows that it is couples in their forties who are most likely to file for divorce, with 86 per cent of family lawyers saying that the most common age for their clients were people aged between 40 and 49. 2013 has also shown the highest number of long term marriages ending in divorce, with 14 per cent of family lawyers saying that the majority of the cases they handled involved marriages of 20 years or more.

Also highlighted in Grant Thornton UK LLP’s report and survey is the impact of the cuts made earlier this year to the legal aid system, which seems to have resulted in rising numbers of divorcees choosing to represent themselves – something we’ve commented on in previous blog posts.

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