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News & Articles

Osborne Morris & Morgan > News and Articles > Family > Divorce rate falls to 1975 levels

Divorce rate falls to 1975 levels

Posted on 23 Mar 2016, in Family

Office for National Statistics figures show that divorce rates have fallen to levels not seen since major changes in divorce laws were put in place over forty years ago. They show a reversal in the trend of steadily increasing divorce rates, with current numbers estimated to be in the region of 42 per cent. Couples living in Bedfordshire may be interested to hear that one reason for the reduction in the numbers of marriages ending in divorce may be the growing popularity of couples cohabiting before getting married.

The number of couples choosing to live together prior to marriage has increased by over 50 per cent in the past 20 years, as attitudes towards unmarried couples cohabiting have gradually changed and the realisation that this period of a relationship may strengthen the subsequent marriage. The ONS figures suggest that couples who married since 2000 are less likely to divorce than their parents. In fact, couples over the age of 50 are continuing to show an increase in divorce rates.

The chairman of a law organisation, however, pointed out that the statistics did not record the number of break ups that affected cohabiting couples and that, in spite of the changes in trends, there were still large number of families undergoing separations each year in Britain. One reason why couples chose to marry, according to a legal expert, was to due to the lack of rights facing unmarried couples if their relationship comes to an end. On the other hand, assets accrued over the duration of a relationship may be divided equally between partners if they are married.

When considering a judgement concerning the division of family property, a court will first seek to ensure that the needs of the children are met. A solicitor may be able to offer advice to a divorcing spouse regarding the other elements that may impact the final settlement.


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