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Fewer children affected by divorce

The number of children affected by divorce has hit a new low, official figures have revealed.

There were 94,864 children aged 16 or under affected by divorce in 2013, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports. This is a significant drop from the previous year when there were over 99,000 children affected. In fact, 2013 had the lowest number of such children since 1971.

In total, 114,720 couples divorced during 2013, a drop of just under three per cent from the previous year when 118,140 couples went their separate ways. In 2003, more than 153,000 couples brought their marriage to an end in England and Wales. Since then, the divorce rate has fallen every year except for 2010.

Meanwhile, the divorce rate for couples over 50 years old has risen yet again. This bucking of the overall trend has attracted a lot of attention from the media over the last few months, with many articles analysing the rise of so-called ‘silver splitters’.

Stowe Family Law Senior Partner Marilyn Stowe said:

“After looking at the ONS figures, it seems more parents are now staying together for the sake of their children and waiting until they are older before bringing their marriage to an end. Couples seem to have weathered the storm together particularly for the sake of the children. When the children have left home, given longer life spans, a general increase in wealth, easier pension and wealth sharing, all can lead to this rise we are also seeing in divorce rates for couples in later middle age.”

For a full breakdown of the latest ONS data, click here.

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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