New research from relationship charity Relate suggests that many middle-income families can’t afford to separate.
According to the survey of 2000 Relate counsellors, above-average earners find the cost of splitting up prohibitive. The costs involved in divorce, moving into separate homes and childcare are all factors in such couples choosing to stay in the same home.
Counsellor Denise Knowles said:
“It is striking that we’re seeing couples who know they need to separate but can’t afford to”.
This is creating a ‘toxic environment’ according to Relate CEO Ruth Sutherland.
“Some couples are financially forced to continue living together, and this is ‘harmful to your children and permeates every other aspect of your life”.
Speaking to the Guardian, she laid the blame for this situation with the Coalition government’s austerity measures:
“Let’s be clear about the real cost of austerity. The impact of being in a relationship that isn’t working is toxic”.
She said living and childcare costs were not affordable even for those people in well-paid jobs, adding:: ‘I would not be surprised at all to see the problem creeping up the salary band.”