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Recent statistics from the Office for National Statistics show there were 107,599 opposite-sex divorces in 2019, an increase from 90,871 in 2018. There were also 822 same-sex divorces, compared to 428 in 2018.

The divorce rate among opposite sex couples has also increased to 8.9 divorces per 1000 married people, compared to 7.5 in 2018.

There has however been an overall downward trend since the peak of 153,065 divorces in 2003 which is broadly consistent with the overall decline in the number of marriages between 2003 and 2009. We believe this is due to changing attitudes towards marriage and an increase in couples favoring cohabitation over marriage.

These figures come before the predicted ‘lockdown boom’ in divorce rates that is forecast due to the strain that the coronavirus pandemic is having on many relationships. At Ramsdens, we have seen an increase in divorce enquiries and we have also seen an increase in conveyancing instructions which could be in-part due to couples separating, selling their property and re-housing themselves.

Of those divorcing last year, 49% of wives and 35% of husbands in heterosexual marriages cited unreasonable behavior as the reason for the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Unreasonable behavior was also cited by 63% of female same-sex divorces and 70% of male ones. The other facts that can be cited as for breakdown of marriage include adultery, desertion, or separation for 2 years with consent, or 5 years however this is all set to change when we see the long-awaited introduction of ‘no fault divorce’ in Autumn next year, at which point parties will only have to state that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, without the need to assign blame or state a reason.

At Ramsdens, we are here to help despite being in lockdown. If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact our family law team to arrange a free virtual 30 minute consultation. Call us on 01484 821500 or send us an email to book.