It's Divorce Day, but is a separation decline on the cards?
It seems to come round quickly every year, but even though today is National Divorce Day, the reality is that divorce is actually on the decline - and the UK is leading the way.
According to stats from the Marriage Foundation, divorce rates in Europe are falling. In the UK couples marrying in 1992 had a divorce rate of 30.7% during the first 15 years of their marriage – the 3rd highest rate out of the 20 countries surveyed. A decade later, for UK couples marrying in 2002, this rate had fallen to 28.1%. For UK couples who married in 2017, the projected divorce rate was 22.5%.
But, why is Monday 10th January 2022, the most likely for divorce? For starters, it is the first Monday back after Christmas. The “back to work” reality sets in, the bills start landing on the doormat and a number of people can find the effects of debt and stress finally take their toll.
Of course, divorce is not just a seasonal thing. According to the Office for National Statistics, there are more than 100,000 divorces in England and Wales every year. In 2015, 60% of divorces in England and Wales were granted on adultery or unreasonable behaviour – which is the most common factor used for divorce (83% among women, 73% among men).
However, whilst under current law, a divorce can only be granted if it fits one of five conditions, that might be about to change.
Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, which will allow married couples to divorce without assigning blame, will come into force on 6th April 2022. This has been known as the “no fault” divorce law - something we have been following closely.
There have been a few delays to bringing this law into force, mainly due to the pandemic, but also to allow for the necessary IT changes to take place. However, the 6th April is now fixed as a matter of Parliamentary record.
If you are going through a difficult time right now, always remember where possible to keep communications open. Marriage can be difficult and most of the couples I see in my office have simple forgotten how to communicate. Talking can be a great healer and our mediation team has also managed to resolve many disputes just by keeping communication open. If your marriage still doesn't get back on track, open communications will be much easier for a clean break.
If you would like some advice relating to your own separation, civil partnership dissolution or access to children, contact the Family Law team at Downs Solicitors to see how we can help