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UK Divorce Figures Show a Fall in 2011

Figures released by the Office of National Statistics just before Christmas show that the number of couples getting divorced in the UK has fallen in recent times


Figures released by the Office of National Statistics just before Christmas show that the number of couples getting divorced in the UK has fallen in recent times.  This little piece of good news comes amidst a whole raft of pressures beating down on relationships and families, from increasing levels of personal debt through to precarious job situations.  The statistics relate to 2011 and show a 1.7% decrease in the number of divorces in the UK as compared to the year before – in real terms this amounts to 117,558 divorces, down from 119,589.
It is widely acknowledged that divorce rates in the UK are phenomenally higher than they were even fifty years ago and it’s difficult to pinpoint the reasons for this.  Some relationship specialists have speculated that modern couples are much more ready to give up and move on from each other than couples from years gone by – that the effort it takes to make a marriage work is too much.  However, there is another theory that divorce is a much more attractive and realistic prospect than it was previously – there is less stigma attached to being a divorcee and people are not encouraged to stay in a relationship that they are not happy in, in a way that they might have been previously.
External factors are also thought to exert considerable influence – both on raises and falls in the number of divorces taking place. Whilst many would assume that a pressured situation such as a family trying to cope with a recession could set some couples on the road to divorce, there is considerable evidence that couples will often stick together during tough times, rather than going their separate ways. 

Historically, there has always been a tightening of family bonds during a recession – the same was true at the start of the 1990s when the number of divorces dipped during that recession too.  However, if we are looking to history for insight then the drop in figures should be approached with some caution, as a fall in the number of divorces is usually followed by a spike when economic conditions begin to ease again. Other external factors include the cost of a divorce, which is something that tends to put people off as, unless the process is properly managed by experienced advisors, it can run on and be incredible expensive. 
Despite this drop in the divorce rate, the number of divorces remains much higher than at the turn of the century and there are still fears among many who have been through the process, as well as a number of family and relationship charities, that there are just too few legal obstacles in the way of divorcing couples these days, which makes the process of getting divorced almost too easy.  However, for many people there comes a point where there is simply no choice, no matter what the circumstances. 
For those contemplating or going through a divorce and looking to make the process as painless as possible we have an experience team of professionals who can help.
This Press Release was produced by Stephensons Solicitors LLP, one of the UK’s leading firms of Divorce Lawyers


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