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Divorce Statistics Show Need For Family Law Reform

Latest Figures Show Rise In Divorces And Unreasonable Behaviour As Main Cause


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

Leading family lawyers at Irwin Mitchell say the latest divorce statistics released today show the need for the Government to consider reforms to the system so that couples are not forced to choose between waiting for 2  years after they have decided to separate , or to say the other person has behaved unreasonably, before making their break up official.

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show that there was a slight rise in the number of divorces in 2012 to 118,140 compared to 2011, with estimates in the report suggesting that 42 per cent of marriages end in divorce.

The statistics also show that just under half of divorces involved children while the age group between 40 and 44 had the highest number of divorces. There are many couples over 60 divorcing, continuing the trends over the past few years.

The most common reason for divorce for both sexes was unreasonable behaviour with almost 16,000 marriages ended in 2012 because of adultery. But lawyers at Irwin Mitchell say that this adversarial approach is partly due to the system which requires couples who have simply ‘grown apart’ with no unreasonable behaviour to be separated for two years before divorcing.

Alison Hawes, a partner in the family law team at Irwin Mitchell which has offices across the country, said:

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