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UK ranks fourth for family breakdown

Only three countries in the western world have higher rates of family breakdown than the UK, according to a new survey.

The international Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) compared the living arrangements of children between birth and the age of 14 in 30 of its member states during 2007.

Just under 69 per cent of children were living with both parents in the UK. Only Belgium, Estonia and Latvia had a lower percent age of children living with both parents. The lowest percentage – 64.9 per cent – was found in Latvia.

The rate in the US was slightly higher, at 70.7 per cent, while major European countries were some way ahead, with the rate in Germany at 82 per cent, in Italy at 92.1 per cent and in Spain at 91.5 per cent.

Harry Benson of campaign group the Marriage Foundation said:

“The latest UK data tells us that 450 of every 1,000 children will experience the break-up of their parents before their 16th birthday, largely the result of the trend away from marriage, in particular the collapse of unmarried families.”

He added: “The government has no policy whatsoever to reduce or prevent the continued rise [of family breakdown].”

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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