The Office for National Statistics figures show a 4.9% increase in divorce in England and Wales between 2009 and 2010, up from 113,949 to 119,589. It is the first increase since 2003. The most common reasons for marriage failure are said to be growing apart (27%), extra marital affairs (25%), unreasonable behaviour (17%), mid-life crisis (10%), emotional/physical abuse (6%), financial and money worries (5%), workaholism (4%), family strains (2%), stress (2%).
Interestingly, whilst 21% of petitions for divorce are filed in the first decade of marriage, 74% are filed in the next ten years. The average marriage lasts 11.4 years, suggesting that the critical time is between 9-12 years. It seems that women issue the vast majority of petitions - 68%, with 4% from men and 28% brought jointly. The most vulnerable group were those in their early 40's. Half of those divorcing had at least one child under the age of 16 living at home.
Asset recovery seems to be a major concern. 48% of respondents believe that assets will be concealed, whilst 35% thought that this was a distinct possibility.
These figures represent a change from the falling divorce rate leading up to 2010. That fall was attributed to the economic climate, but despite little economic recovery, the trend has reversed.
Divorce and separation are an inescapable part of life for many couples. Yet it seems that our ways of handling it are hardly fit for purpose, with a rough guide of contested divorce costs at between £8,000- £20,000 per couple, and costs over £20,000 not being uncommon. The main areas of conflict resulting in cost are financial division of assets and the sharing of children.
Here at Divorce Without Pain we are able to offer a no-cost initial consultation. In some cases, couples arrive together, and in others they are seen separately. Either is appropriate. On occasions, the guidance or steer given results in couples sorting out their own affairs without any further intervention. In other cases, following the Divorce Without Pain modules has resolved all of the issues without the need for courts to become involved.
To take advantage of a free consultation, email Divorce Without Pain or telephone 01325 480954 / 07977262083.