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Divorce in the UK today

Here at Stowe Family Law, we commissioned a survey to find out more about divorce in the UK to discover people’s experiences, reasons for divorce and the factors which lead to the break-down of their marriage. 

The survey was followed up with insights from our top lawyers – who gave their opinion on the results. 

Please read our Q&A and get in touch with our team here if you have questions about divorce proceedings.

Have you ever considered getting a divorce?

Divorce in the UK is very common in today’s culture and can be a regular topic of conversation. Over a third (37%) of couples surveyed stated that they have previously thought about divorcing their partner. Half of the lawyers surveyed (50%) revealed that they thought between 31-40 per cent of couples have considered divorce, emphasising our understanding of couples and the struggles they have in their relationships.

What would make you stay in an unhappy marriage?

Couples often think about divorce but stay together in unhappy marriages for numerous reasons. 38 per cent of couples believe that staying together in a loveless marriage is in the best interest of their children and fear the damaging effect that divorce could have on their family members’ lives. 

One in five stated that the financial impact that divorce could have on their lives and the instability that they feared would come with it as their second biggest reason to stay together. 

The divorce lawyers agreed with these findings by revealing that they thought almost three quarters (71%) of unhappy couples stay together for their children’s benefit. Financial instability also ranked second with 14 per cent, however, shockingly they believed that one in ten unhappy couples stay together due to fear of their partner.

What was the reason(s) your marriage broke down?

When asked what the reasons for the breakdown in their marriage were, 40 per cent of the UK divorcees surveyed stated that they had simply grown apart from their spouse. This was the main reason for divorce in the UK.

A further 38 per cent cited that their ex-partner committing adultery lead to the breakdown in their marriage. 

Divorce professionals also stated that they believed the most common reason for a couple divorcing was growing apart.

What was your biggest stumbling block when going through a divorce?

Due to divorces requiring a high amount of negotiation from both parties, it is natural that they can hit a stumbling block when agreeing on terms. 

One in five (19%) revealed that they hit a stumbling block when discussing custody of their children. This was confirmed by the lawyers as they also agreed that 17 per cent of divorce proceedings were hampered when discussing children. 

However, the lawyers believed that over four in five (83%) of divorces were affected by discussions over the finances of their clients.

Did you consider the financial situation of yourself or your partner before marriage?

With finances being a substantial and much-discussed factor in the divorce proceedings, it’s surprising to see that two thirds (65%) of the UK did not consider their own, or their partner’s before proceeding. 

70% of our lawyers believed that this would be much more of a worry for the public with the professionals claiming that only 20% or under would divorce at any cost and ignore their finances.

Is a divorce considered a failure and would it put you off marrying again?

The common misconception that divorce in the UK is regarded as a failure is not true. 82 per cent of divorcees consider marriage not to be a failure and 42 per cent would consider marriage again after the breakdown of their first marriage. 

This is further backed up by almost half (43%) of lawyers stating that they believed 70% of divorcees would not see this as a failure and would consider marrying again.

Do you regret getting a divorce?

Another misconception is that divorce is a stressful and drawn-out process. However, four in five (80%) divorcees which used our services did not regret their decision to divorce and felt satisfied with their outcome. 

The majority (66%) of the legal professionals surveyed assumed that 80 per cent of divorcees would not regret their divorce.

Get in touch

If you would like any advice on divorce or other family law issues please do contact our Client Care Team to speak to one of our specialist divorce lawyers here. 

You can read further advice on divorce on the Stowe Family Law Blog. 

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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