A study by family law firm Cordell & Cordell has looked at the number of internet enquiries on how to find a divorce solicitor, revealing the UK’s divorce hotspots.
According to the Bournemouth Echo, in first place is Bolton, followed by Bristol, Bournemouth and neighbouring Peterborough, with Cambridge in fifth place.
found that the city had one of the highest rates in the UK of internet enquiries on how to find a divorce solicitor.
Stephanie Kelly, Cordell & Cordell’s family law solicitor, suggests that the lockdown may have generated tensions for unfaithful spouses who are unable to leave their home.
“We have been seeing a surprising number of enquiries from people exploring their options, either because of existing issues in their relationships that have come to a head while isolating together or because one spouse has been caught out as being unfaithful,” she said.
“Often, unfaithful spouses are less able to hide and maintain extramarital affairs without leaving the house and minor disagreements can become intensified.”
The number of couples getting divorced in England and Wales increased by almost a fifth in 2019 to the highest level in five years, figures reveal.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows 107,599 opposite-sex divorces in 2019, an increase of 18.4 per cent from 90,871 in 2018, the highest since 2014 when 111,169 were granted.
ONS also recorded 822 same-sex divorces, nearly twice the number (428) in 2018, and added that a casework backlog in 2018 could partly account for the increase.
The most common reason for divorce was unreasonable behaviour, cited by 49 per cent of wives and 35 per cent of husbands in heterosexual marriage, in 63 per cent of female same-sex divorces and 70 per cent of male ones.
In order to divorce, either one spouse has to allege adultery, unreasonable behaviour or desertion by the other. Currently, a person can apply for a divorce if both parties agree and they have been separated from their spouse for two years.
Someone wishing to obtain a divorce without the consent of their spouse must live apart from them for five years.
This is expected to change with the introduction of the “no-fault” divorce next autumn, after which they will only have to state that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
The number of same-sex divorces has increased each year, reflecting the increasing size of the same-sex married population since March 2014 when the law changed to allow them to marry, the ONS says.
Of the 822 same-sex divorces last year, almost three-quarters were between female couples, a similar proportion to in 2018.
Meanwhile, the divorce rate among opposite-sex couples last year increased to 8.9 divorces per 1,000 married people, from 7.5 in 2018. The median length of time for those marriages to have lasted before divorce was 12.3 years.
ONS said 2020’s increase in divorces was the largest in percentage terms increase since 1972 when the recent introduction of the Divorce Reform Act 1969 made it easier for couples to divorce.
However, there has been an overall downward trend since the most recent peak of 153,065 divorces in 2003, the ONS said, with opposite-sex divorces in 2019 still 30 per cent lower than in that year.
The latest figures come as divorce lawyers predict a ‘post-lockdown divorce boom’ amid warnings the coronavirus pandemic is putting a strain on relationships.
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