Divorce rates continue to increase
The Office for National Statistics has recently published the stats for divorces in 2019, which increased by 18.4% from 2018. This may have been due to the backlog practitioners were facing with the courts, as in 2018, all divorces were paper based. It remains to be seen whether the figures for 2020 will be even higher, but it is certain that Covid 19 has certainly led to an increase in the enquiries received, due to married couples having more time to reflect and decide whether they wish to continue in their marriage.
There were 822 divorces among same-sex couples in 2019, nearly twice as many as in 2018. Nearly three quarters were between female couples. Unreasonable behaviour was the most common reason that both opposite-sex and same-sex couples divorced.
The average length of marriage reduced from 12.5 years in 2018 to 12.3 years in 2019. We will have to wait and see whether the average continues to fall in 2020. Now that there is a new online portal for divorces and a change in the law due some time next year, which will see “no fault” based divorces, it is almost certain that divorces will continue to increase.