Should I Go Into A Marriage Preparing For Divorce? Preparing Prenups

The Office for National Statistics (a.k.a. the ONS) have recently released research data confirming that the UK’s rates of divorce have now dropped to a record low in the last 50 years. This perhaps surprising news is not necessarily the result of an increase in happy marriages however but is instead a likely byproduct of the current economic climate.

As covered in our article, Victims of Domestic Abuse are Less Likely to Get Divorced in 2024, earlier this year, many couples who would’ve sought to end their marriages during January, often referred to as ‘divorce month’ in the legal profession, have apparently been reluctant to do so because of the expense of such an undertaking. It is no secret that the recent cost of living crisis has had a significant impact on people’s livelihoods and so spouses choosing to postpone their divorces this year have mainly cited factors such as financial scarcity, general living expenses, and income insecurity as the primary causes.

In line with this, statistics for previous years, namely 2022, appear to support a growing trend in couples increasingly avoiding divorce altogether. The newly published data shows that only 80,057 divorces took place in 2022 (this includes same-sex marriages, without which the figure still comes to an impressive 78,759 cases) in contrast to 113,505 divorces in 2021 – this is a drop of no less than 29.5%. These figures mark the lowest rates of divorce on record since the year 1971 and, according to the ONS, may also have been affected by the introduction of reforms to ‘no-fault’ divorce legislation in 2022 which now requires a minimum 20-week ‘cooling off’ period for spouses wishing to get divorced this way.

Another contributing factor to consider here is the steadily declining rate of marriage in contemporary relationships. We touched on this in our 2023 article, Generation of Divorce, which outlines the key statistics surrounding divorce rates and trends over recent generations. Research from large-scale, longstanding household surveys, such as the University of Michigan’s PSID, has shown that millennials are on record to have the lowest rate of marriage among all comparable generations. Similarly, the ONS also reported the lowest number of marriages for the UK since the year 1838 in their 2020 statistics which recorded only 85,770 marriages for that year.

The importance of being able to make informed decisions for the well-being of your family, as well as your own, is something that we at Grayfords value as an utmost priority. We understand how daunting it can be to embark on the journey of getting a divorce, or to engage in any kind of legal dispute within the family context, especially in these modern times. Our unique fee structure is designed to give our clients a fully transparent and holistic approach to managing their cases which always puts the client’s needs and wishes first. If you are looking to get a divorce or need any other assistance from an expert family law solicitor, don’t hesitate to book your free consultation today to find out more about how we can help.

Neil Graham, a Partner at Grayfords comments as follows:  “When relationships experience difficulties divorce is only one of a range of options available.  Marriage counselling or couple therapy is always one of those options and even if a divorce is inevitable there are ways of resolving disputes outside the Court driven process which can reduce significantly the financial and emotional costs involved.  It is important to discuss the full range of options available with your solicitor at the very outset in order to identify the best and most realistic solution.”

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