With the fading of social stigma attached to it and the greater financial independence of women, divorce rates have, unsurprisingly so, been increasing for a very long period of time. Divorce statistics were not recorded until 1867; from then on, the number of divorces per year has been steadily growing until 1980, when it skyrocketed to a figure of 52% of marriages that split apart in divorce. Interestingly enough, the numbers of divorces or annulments have been on the decline since. The Daily Telegraph quoted the most recent figures from the Office for National Statistics that show that 130,473 couples divorced across the UK in 2013 – down almost 3%!
Here are some of the latest trends that have been moulding the landscape of divorce you should know about:
- The busiest divorce season is after Christmas as most couples, especially if they have children, try to postpone the stressful procedure until after the holidays.
- If you share custody of your child with your ex-spouse, you should know that intentionally interfering with parenting time of the other parent is finally starting to get recognised as an offense in court. In Minnesota, for example, tampering with the other parent’s time can be punishable by imprisonment for up to two years or a fine of up to $4,000!
- The main two aspects that worry childless people filing for a divorce the most are financial in nature: how much is the divorce going to cost, and how will the assets be divided. This holds true regardless of the level of income of each person getting divorced.
- Many experts attribute the declining divorce rates to more and more couples living together before they decide to tie the knot. The spur in cohabiting couples, which is also the fastest growing type of household in Britain, probably has a lot to do with the reason why people aren’t dissolving their marriages as much as before.
- More and more people are getting divorced at an older age. The UK Office for National Statistics backs up this statement by confirming that since 1985 the average ages at divorce for men and women have increased, rising by 7.7 years for both men and women. This trend is consistent with increases in the average age at marriage. The average age for UK male citizens divorcing was 45.1 years in 2013, and 42.6 for female citizens.
- It is estimated that about two-thirds of divorces are filed for by the wife. In general, the higher the woman’s economic independence and social acceptance of the choice, the higher is the probability she will initiate a divorce if she’s unhappy, explains Jeff Landers for Forbes. In US, white women tend to file for divorce the most, and are immediately followed by US-born Hispanic women.
- The so-called “gray divorce” is also on the rise; primarily because of the prolonged life expectancy and women’s improved economic independence. The Office for National Statistics also reports that the average duration of marriage for divorces granted in 2013 was 11.7 years, increasing from 11.5 in 2012 and 11.3 in 2003. However, it’s important to note that according to UK legislation, you can’t apply for a divorce until you’ve been married for at least one year.
If you have made up your mind and decided to end your marriage, the most helpful thing you can do for yourself in this stressful period is to hire a divorce shark – a top-notch legal expert who can guarantee your interests are strongly represented and defended in court. This is not something you want to gamble with, especially if child custody and/or the division of valuable assets are in question. Also, if one of the parties doesn’t agree to the divorce, you’re facing a so-called defended divorce, which is considerably trickier that an undefended divorce. Contact us for a free quote and you’ll receive access to our database of trusted and pre-vetted lawyers hand-picked to ensure you get through the divorce as smoothly (and inexpensively) as possible.