Divorces increase by 10 percent in 2021

The number of divorces allowed in 2020 could have suffered the repercussions of “disruption of family court activities” during the coronavirus crisis, Says ONS (Getty)

The pandemic appears to have triggered a divorce backlog with divorces rising 10% in 2021, new data show.

The data, released Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), revealed that 113,505 divorces were allowed in England and Wales last year, a ten percent increase from 2020 which saw 103,592 divorces.

The number of divorces allowed in 2020 could have been impacted by the “disruption of family court activities” during the coronavirus crisis, the ONS said.

Amanda Sharfman, an ONS statistic, noted that the rise in divorces comes after a drop in 2020, as she explained that divorces in both 2020 and 2021 may have been impacted by Covid-related upheaval in the courts.

Sharfman added: “If we look at the trends over a longer period of time, we have seen changes in the percentage of marriages ending in divorce by the 10th wedding anniversary.

“In 1965, one in ten couples who married that year divorced on the 10th anniversary. This increased to one in four couples for those married in 1995.

“However, for couples married in 2011, the most recent cohort to reach this milestone, we have seen a decrease, with less than one in five marriages ending in divorce by the 10th wedding anniversary.”

In 2021, women were more likely to initiate divorce proceedings in opposite-sex couples, accounting for 63% of applications, compared to men who made up 37%.

This gender breakdown is similar to what we saw in 2020, with ONS data showing that women have been more likely to initiate divorce proceedings against men in England and Wales since 1949.

However, the gender disparity between men and women filing for divorce has declined in recent years, dropping about 10 percentage points from the 1992 peak, when wives filed for 72% of divorces.

Unreasonable behavior was the most common reason women filed for divorce between opposite-sex couples in 2021, making up nearly half of the questions.

Sarah Jane Boon, partner of Charles Russell Speechlys, a law firm, said: “Despite the promise of a simpler process coming in 2022, divorce figures have still increased in 2021.

“It was anticipated that the introduction of no-fault divorce in April 2022 would mean that many would wait until then to initiate the divorce proceedings.

“However, the increase in divorces in 2021 indicates that this is a misleading forecast. It is worth remembering that the no-fault divorce has been delayed several times, so for some couples it may have proved too late. “

Although no-fault divorce laws were passed in June 2020, they didn’t go into effect until April 6. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 eradicates the idea that one party of the couple is guilty or has committed some form of wrongdoing. As such, the divorce application can no longer be challenged in the new law.

While couples are no longer required to prove they have been separated for two years, previously this was the only other way to file for divorce if couples chose not to venture down the path of guilt.

Ms. Boon said, “Separately, 2021 was another unprecedented time for all, with the impact of Covid still being felt, along with macroeconomic distress, all of which will have played a role in increasing divorces.

“While 2020 was a busy year, 2021 provided a new sense of freedom, at least from the summer onwards, which may also have led to more couples deciding to separate.”

Over the summer, lawyers said The independent The cost of living crisis is putting a strain on couples with divorce applications from law firms soaring to record levels.

Data from the UK’s largest family law firm, shared exclusively with The independentshowed lawyers received 4,129 inquiries in July, the highest ever recorded.

This marks a 25% increase from May of this year and 34% in July 2021, when Stowe Family Law received 3,089 divorce applications. Meanwhile, the July data constitutes a 132% increase over July 2019, before the pandemic and cost of living crisis hit.

Research by Stowe Family Law, which has around 40 offices across the UK, found that just over half of British couples say there is tension in their relationship due to the cost of living crisis, with seven out of ten worry that their relationship won’t make it through the dizzying crisis.

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