Divorce Numbers Fall but Financial Impact Remains High
The number of marriages ending in divorce is falling on either side of the Atlantic, according to recently released figures from the UK and the United States.
England and Wales
In England and Wales, there were 111,169 divorces in 2014, which is a fall of 3.1% compared to 2013 and a drop of 27% from 2003, when figures reached a recent peak.
The figures from the Office for National Statistics also show that:
- The number of divorces in 2014 was highest among men aged 45 to 49 and women aged 40 to 44.
- In 2014, there were 9.3 men divorcing per thousand married males, a decrease of 5.1% compared with 2013 and a fall of 30.6% from a recent peak in the divorce rate in 2004.
- In 2014, there were 9.3 women divorcing per thousand married females, a decrease of 5.1% compared with 2013 and a drop of 29.5% compared with 2004.
Interestingly, the one demographic group that appears to be bucking the declining divorce trend is women between the ages of 55 and 59. Between 2004 and 2014, the divorce rate for men has declined in all age groups. For women, however, the divorce rate has declined for those aged under 55 but increased by 1.9% for ages 55 to 59 and remained unchanged for ages 60 and over.
In the United States, divorce rates also appear to be in decline. The National Centre for Marriage and Family Research, at Bowling Green University, recently released figures revealing that in 2015, the national divorce rate reached a 40-year low.
The figures show that in 2015 there were 16.9 divorces per 1,000 married women, compared to 17.6 in 2014.
Looking at the numbers over a longer period of time, the US divorce rate has fallen by 25% between 1980 and 2015.
Financial Impact of Divorce
Back in the UK, although the number of divorces is falling the same can’t be said about the cost of divorce.
New research by law firm Seddons has shown that the average cost of divorce is around £70,000, reports the Mirror, and that it takes up to a year, on average, for the divorce process to be completed.
The other financial consequences of divorce can be wide-ranging and long lasting. New research coming out of Australia has found that it can take up to five years for divorced couples to recover their financial position following separation.
With as many as one in three Australian marriages ending, divorce has become a major financial shock for many Australians, the latest AMP.NATSEM report has revealed.
“Understandably, most couples don’t plan for divorce,” said AMP Chief Customer Officer Paul Sainsbury. “This lack of planning, combined with the significant disruption and emotional distress of a divorce, often means finances are a lower priority and mishandled during a separation.”
“And with Australians now tending to divorce later during our mid-40s and prime wealth-accumulating years – the long-term financial impacts can be considerable,” he added.
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.
For expert legal advice on divorce and separation, or other family law issues, then contact our specialist family lawyers today.