The survey, carried out by accountancy firm Grant Thornton, found that eight out of 10 lawyers felt that the recession had led to married couples delaying divorce proceedings.
The reason is thought to be that many couples simply couldn’t afford to separate because they were under too much financial pressure and uncertainty. Instead they chose to carry on with their marriage as best they could.
Now, as the economy starts to improve and people become less uncertain about their financial future, it’s thought the divorce rate could start to increase as people take the opportunity to start a new life.
Grant Thornton spokesman, Nick Andrews, said: “In tough economic times, when people’s budgets are tight it is perhaps not surprising to see a fall in the divorce rate. Now that there is continuing positive economic news, it could be that the divorce rate will start to edge up again.”
Lawyers in the survey expressed concern at the number of cases involving one or both partners trying to conceal the full extent of their assets from each other.
It’s thought this trend is likely to continue, highlighting the need for couples to get expert legal help in tracing hidden assets to ensure a fair and reasonable settlement.
The survey also revealed that the average age of people getting divorced is between 40 and 49, and the main reason for marriage breakdowns was simply “falling out of love”.