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Another black monday

23rd January 2015

Popularised in the press as ‘divorce day’, the first Monday after the New Year, customarily the busiest time for family enquiries.

At Law Express we have seen a substantial rise in such cases this year; compared to 2014 an increase of over 100% on the day. Of these a third related to queries from unmarried partners and the remainder from married partners with the majority of cases concerning issues in relation to children.

Is it possible to deduce from this that as a nation we are unhappy with family life, dissatisfied with our partners and spouses? Does the ‘festive’ season actually mean a time of heartache or is this the first opportunity to act on a New Year resolution? Whatever the reason our callers are very concerned about their children and what should happen in such circumstances.

Recent research has shown the current arrangements to resolve family disputes about children and assets are not working in the way that was anticipated. The requirement to attend a mediation and information assessment meeting (MIAM) – (see our ezine dated 13th May 2014) is often ignored and courts do not seem to deter individuals from making a court application even if they have not gone through the mediation process.

Some interesting statistics:
•    The current divorce rate (42%) is less than the highest recorded rate of 45%
•    Half of divorces occur in the first 10 years of marriage, generally between the 4th and 8th anniversary.
•    The most common age for getting divorce is 40-44 and
•    Wales has the highest proportion of the adult population as divorced nearly 1 in 10.

Whilst the debate continues whether to give cohabitees the same rights as married couples, it is important to remember there is a difference in key areas such as tax, inheritance, property and some issues concerning children. However cohabiting remains popular with nearly 6 million households representing 11.7% of the population. Cohabiting couples with family are the fastest growing family types within the UK.

So, whether this accurately reflects the ‘state of the nation’, or an indicator on the happiness scale, we cannot say, but we do know that relationships are complex matters and the law relating to their breakdown can be equally challenging. At Law Express we are here to help.

If you have any questions about Family Law and how it might effect you,
do give us a call on 01275 378715.