In a turn against traditional reports of higher divorce rates in January and September, my colleagues and I at Prolegal have seen a surprising increase in divorce enquiries in the month of June.
Spikes in divorce enquiries usually arrive after holiday periods, with couples either reaching a breaking point from extended time together or sticking it out to avoid upsetting family gatherings. Yet, couples are now seeking to avoid the hassle altogether.
The recession is also putting strain on marriages. According to the Office for National Statistics, 2011 saw an increase of divorce rate by 5%, after almost a decade of decline. Without a safety net of financial security, couples are facing harsh decisions – and their marriage may be chief among them.
The current state of society dictates that both parties of a marriage must work hard to secure what they have, and this causes gaps in the relationship to be covered up by the fact a couple may see one another in ever more fleeting spare moments. When the summer holidays come around, a couple may find themselves facing facts that they had managed to avoid with their busy lifestyles. They may simply no longer wish to spend “quality time” together.
It is unfortunate that we live in a culture which merits disposal. When something breaks we are often more ready to throw it out than to have it fixed, instead seeing the opportunity to upgrade to something new. I would like to think that people see their relationships – especially marriage – slightly differently, yet according to this rising trend it may not be the case. The average marriage in the UK lasts just 11 years – only one year more than the warranty on the washing machine you received on your wedding day.
By Jonathan West, Head of Family Law at Prolegal