Divorce rate spiked as economy emerged from recession

By Lenore Rice

There were thirteen divorces every hour across Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK in 2012 according to new figures released by the Office for National Statistics.

While the headline portrays a dramatic increase in divorce rates, commentators suggest that it is a temporary spike brought on as a result of couples holding off a separation during the recession. For the non-bread-winning spouse in a relationship, divorcing during a recession could result in a relatively poor divorce settlement. Waiting until property values are on the increase again, as well as salaries and investments should mean a more generous divorce settlement for many spouses. Others will not have been able to afford to divorce during the recession as selling the matrimonial home at a time of low property values may not have been sufficient to clear existing mortgages and enable a transfer of property.

There are some commentators that suggest that it isn't so much a case of a backlog of divorces that were held off during the recession, as the recession causing divorces. Financial stress and changes in employment and lifestyle are said to be factors of a recession which can cause couples to separate.

The increase was only a 0.5 per cent lift on 2011, and the figures show that half of the divorces involved marriages of 10 years or less.

If you require legal advice in respect of a separation from a divorce solicitor in Belfast contact Wilson Nesbitt by calling 0800 840 1363.

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