Increase in divorces in 2012
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported figures suggesting that a general downward trend in the divorce rate in England and Wales may have been reversed by the recession of 2008–2009. The total number of divorces increased 4.9 per cent in 2010, and grew further to 118,140 in 2012 — approximately 13 an hour or one every five minutes. Some have suggested that the increased financial strains created during the economic downturn could have contributed to the rise.
Separately, helpline Support 4 Separated Parents has reported that one in five couples with children consider splitting up in the period after a summer holiday. Hazel Hedley, who runs the service, said: ‘If a couple isn’t getting on and then they suddenly have to spend 24/7 together away from home, with the children, it can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Finances, children misbehaving, and just being out of routine can bring dissatisfaction to a head.’
However, Paula Hall, a relationship therapist at the marriage counselling service Relate, claims that separations are rarely reducible to one single cause or another: ‘Relationship breakdown is complex and the damage has often been done over many years of either unresolved conflict or distance.’ What is clear is the effect this has on the children caught up in the middle of an often rancorous process…
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