The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has released its latest figures on divorce in England and Wales. The data shows that there was a surge in new divorce applications in 2019 of over 18% compared to the previous year. This is believed to be the sharpest rise in divorce cases in nearly 50 years.
There were 107,599 divorces between opposite-sex couples, the highest number in five years. This equates to 8.9 divorces for every 1,000 married people, a rate that was just 7.5 in 2018. There were also 822 divorces recorded between same-sex couples. This represented a huge rise of nearly 50% compared to 2018.
The 2019 increase is certainly surprising, as divorce numbers have generally been on a downward trend for a number of years. According to the ONS report, this is partly because fewer people are getting married in the first place. It states:
"Changes in attitudes to cohabitation as an alternative to marriage or prior to marriage, particularly at younger ages, are likely to have been a factor affecting the general decrease in divorce rates since 2003."
What caused the 2019 rise in divorces?
These startling new figures beg the question – what happened in 2019 to cause so many marriages to fall apart?
According to the ONS, the explanation could actually be very simple. It could all be down to an administrative issue.
The ONS has said that at least part of the increase could be attributed to a casework backlog in 2018. This would make divorce cases lower in 2018 and higher in 2019, with many divorces from 2018 only being recorded in the following year’s figures.
The report stated:
"The size of the increase can be partly attributed to a backlog of divorce petitions from 2017 that were processed by the Ministry of Justice in early 2018, some of which will have translated into decree absolutes (completed divorces) in 2019.”
Another divorce spike on the horizon
Due to the intense pressures of 2020 during the start of the coronavirus pandemic, another sharp increase in divorce cases is almost certainly on the way. Numerous lockdowns, restrictions and hardship are bound to have exacerbated existing marriage problems.
The charity Citizen’s Advice saw a significant increase in searches for divorce guidance on its website as early as April 2020. And in September, this rise in searches was 25% higher than the same time in 2019.
But if you’re facing marriage problems, you don’t have to go through it alone.
Get in touch with Wirral divorce solicitor Tracey Miller Family Law and we can help you arrange mediation and counselling, as well as reliable, practical divorce advice if you need it. Call us on 0151 515 3036 or contact us online – we’re here to help.
Our expert family law solicitors work to get you through this tough time in the easiest way possible, so that you can move forward with your life.
As someone who has experienced divorce first-hand, Tracey says "There is life after divorce and I can vouch for it as I am happily remarried to my second husband, Anthony. I must be the most optimistic divorce lawyer there is!"
For more information, or to speak to one of our expert family lawyers today, feel free to read our family law FAQs or call a member of our team on 0151 515 3036.
Expert Family Law Solicitors in Liverpool
At Tracey Miller Family Law, our team specialises in several different areas of family law. This means that we can act for people who have not married but have lived together when their relationship unfortunately breaks down (this is known as Cohabitation). We can also act for Civil Partners (same sex couples who have entered into a Civil Partnership).
Although we help people following the breakdown of their relationship, we are avid believers in planning for ‘just in case’. Our family law specialists can advise you on and put into place pre-nuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements, pre-registration agreements for Civil Partners and cohabitation agreements for Cohabitees.
Our family law solicitors are also experienced in settling disputes involving children, including Residence and Contact applications and all other private law applications under the Children Act.
Ancillary Relief Specialists in Liverpool
At Tracey Miller Family Law, we also specialise in ancillary relief. These are financial disputes where the assets could run from thousands of pounds into millions of pounds and include property portfolios, businesses and pensions.
Our team has a wealth of experience in this particular area of family law, as well as being experienced in the other areas set out above. Please see our specific information sheets for further details.
Are you looking for an expert family law solicitor to support you through this difficult period? Why not get in touch with one of our family law specialists on 0151 515 3036?