A recent annual report regarding divorce in the UK has shown some surprising results related to the reasons couples decide to end their marriage. The study began in 2003 and since then, the leading cause for divorce was shown to be extramarital affairs. However, last year affairs dropped to second place and was beaten out by couples who divorce because they “grew apart”.
The study indicated that 27% of divorce cases are now caused by people simply falling out of love. Affairs by a spouse are now only cited in 25% of the divorce cases. This is followed by unreasonable behavior (17%) and a mid life crisis (10%).
One reason for affairs dropping from the top spot seems to be people’s perceptions about affairs. In the past, if one spouse was caught cheating, it was usually considered to be deal breaker. It seems that more people are no longer immediately jumping to divorce and are instead sometimes choosing to stay in the relationship in the hopes that it can be saved.
It is difficult to determine the exact reason for this shift in the way people think, but it has been suggested that celebrities play a role. There have been several high profile situations where a spouse has been caught in an extramarital affair, but the other spouse has made the decision to not seek a divorce.
Money problems were cited by 5% of the couples in the study. The number has stayed steady over the recent years even though the economy put much more pressure on people from a financial perspective. Even though the rate of divorce hasn’t changed, solicitors still believe that the economy has had an influence over divorce cases.
When the people in the study were asked if they have delayed filing for divorce due to financial reasons, 82% responded with a yes. People responded by saying that the lack of the liquidity of their assets or the lack of value were primarily responsible for the delay in continuing with their divorce.
The bad economy has also played a role in divorce cases for another important reason. Many solicitors have indicated that they have clients who specifically wanted to file their divorce during the economic downturn. Their desire to rush the process was based upon the fact that their assets would be valued at a lower level and that would result in a smaller settlement for their spouse.