Fewer Couples Divorce After 10 Years Of Marriage

Lawyer Says Research Shows Newly-Weds And Those With Multiple Marriages Face Most Uncertainty

14.02.2013

A new report has revealed that the divorce rate for couples who split after they have been married for more than 10 years has not changed for over 40 years with leading family lawyers saying this highlights the fragile nature of newly married relationships.

The new evidence shows that a couple who got married in 2001 have the same chance of getting divorced after 10 or more years as couple’s did who got married in 1971. Research by the Marriage Foundation discovered that one in five couples are divorced after 10 years, and the likelihood of divorce gets smaller for every decade the relationship lasts.

A leading family lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, which has a team of divorce specialists across the country, says that newly-weds whether it is their first marriage, or they have previously been divorced face the most uncertainty as they bed into their new relationship status.

Alison Hawes, a family law expert at Irwin Mitchell’s Bristol office, said: “While divorce is more prevalent now that it was in the 1970s most of the increase in divorce rates has occurred for couples in their first 10 years of marriage.

“These figures show the importance of working hard at marriage and ensuring that partners put the effort in to help keep the relationship strong.

“More than half of all divorces occur during the first 10 years of marriage which shows how fragile relationships can be during those first years of matrimony. The statistics show that while more older people are getting divorced, many of these are people who have married for a 2nd and 3rd time and the longer a marriage lasts the stronger it seems to become.”

Hawes also said that the fact the divorce rate is now in decline following a peak in the mid 1990’s is reflective of both the lower number of marriages and changing attitudes to relationship therapies.

She added: “Especially over the past few years when economic hardship has meant many families facing a tough time, couples have been more willing to try relationship therapy to keep their marriage on track.

“If this is unsuccessful, both the courts, and in our experience many couples, are also keen to head down the less confrontational route, looking at mediation and other forms of solving their disputes, using court action as a last resort.”