Friday, 9 December 2011
New divorce statistics
The latest divorce statistics were published this week. You can find a breakdown here:-
Interestingly, the number of divorces has gone up for the first time in years. Marriages per head of population peaked in modern times in 1972, ironically just 12 months before the passing of the Matrimonial Causes Act, which has governed divorces for nearly 40 years. Since then, with a couple of minor peaks, marriage has been in continuous decline, especially when linked to the number of people eligible to marry. You can find the figures and a graph here:-
The two graphs look very different. As marriages have steadily fallen per head of population, divorces have risen, held steady and then declined. Now there is the first sign of an increase again. If you look at the two graphs superimposed at the first link, you see a gradual convergence until the last 6 or 7 years. Now it looks as if the convergence may be resuming. Still, one year doesn't make a trend, so only time will tell if the number of divorces is actually going to meet and exceed the number of marriages.
For me, the most interesting and puzzling statistic is to be found here:-
I've had a discussion on Linkedin about this oddity – how can it possibly be that of 114,000-119,000 divorces in the years 2009 and 2010, between 85,000 and 87,000 were carried out with public funding? This leaves just 29,000 to 32,000 to be privately funded and dealt with by private lawyers. As there are several thousand of us, this just doesn't stack up. I know that I don't deal with less than 10 clients during the course of a year! If anyone can explain this puzzle, I shall be fascinated to hear what is actually going on.