Britons

Are Britons More Likely to Divorce Than Change Bank Accounts?

Ed Balls MP

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls claimed at the weekend that Britons nowadays are “more likely to be divorced than to change your bank account.” He was making a point about the need for banking reforms and the need for customers to shop around.

Chancellor Ed Balls

But that got us thinking – is this claim true? Are British people more likely to get a divorce than they are to change their bank accounts?

Ed Balls claim was based on the prior claim that people change their bank accounts on average “every 26 years,” which makes divorce more likely – the the Office for National Statistics has said that the average failed marriage lasts 11.4 years before ending in divorce.

However, what makes comparing the two statistics a little dodgy is the fact that it does not take into account the relative likelihoods of people wishing to end their marriages – or dump their bank managers – in the first place.

All Mr Balls has actually done here is compare the length of time it takes couples who will divorce to get divorced with the length of time people will take to change their bank account – again, if they are going to in the first place. This is far from meaningful, since it assumes that everyone is either going to get divorced or change their bank accounts.…

Movies

Divorce Will be Mentioned in Live Katy Perry Movie

Firework singer Katy Perry revealed this week that her forthcoming live concert film will mention her divorce from British comic Russell Brand, although the reference will be a “tasteful” one.

Katy Perry

The concert movie, Part Of Me: 3D, is due out in the USA on the 4th July weekend, and Perry said on the Ellen DeGeneres Show that she wanted her fans to get as accurate an insight into her life as possible – including the downsides, such as her divorce from Brand.

“I thought it was important to show everything in between. I think sometimes people think that we’re perfect, and we know we’re not perfect, at all,” she said.

“I think it’s important to start breaking down the idea that to achieve your dreams, you always have to be perfect or flawless or live in some kind of fantasy world. So that’s why I decided to put everything into the film. In the most tasteful way.”

The divorce between the celebrity couple has largely been an amicable one, with no lurid tabloid tales of screaming matches or courtroom battles between US divorce lawyers. Last week, Brand himself appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, where he admitted that he still loves his ex-wife “as a human being, but, sometimes when you’re in a relationship, I suppose it doesn’t work out.”…

Animals

Austrian Zoo Turtles ‘Divorce’ After 115 Years

TurtlesReports emerged this week of a very sad divorce in the animal world – the irrevocable split of a pair of giant turtles at an Austrian zoo after 115 happy years.

Bibi and Poldi have been together at the zoo in Klagenfurt for 36 of those years, previously living at Basel zoo in Switzerland, where they had grown up and become an item, the Austrian Times reported.

But now they refuse to share an enclosure, sad zoo officials have revealed, with zoo manager Helga Happ saying that “for no reason that anyone can discover they seem to have fallen out; they just can’t stand each other.”

The female turtle Bibi started “divorce proceedings”, it was reported, when she attacked her partner Poldi and bit off some of his shell. The attacks continued until he was moved elsewhere.

Animal psychologists were brought in to try “marriage counselling”, trying to reignite the turtles’ passion by such measures as aphrodisiac foods and group games, but it was no use.

Their “final divorce” has now come through, and the pair are now living separate lives. Zoo authorities said that the 100 kilo creatures could easily kill each other if hostilities continued.…

Habit

Recession Affects UK Divorce Habits

The trying economic times facing the UK is leading to a rise in divorce, according to divorce lawyers across the country.

The most recent national figures show that there were some 120,000 divorces in Britain in 2010, a 5 per cent increase compared to the previous year. The recession has also changed the way that divorces are funded and assets split, lawyers say. With property values diminishing, the traditional route whereby a family home is sold and the proceeds fund both the divorce and a new start for both parties can no longer be relied upon.

Financial planner Fiona Sharp told This Is Money: “Splitting one household into two is becoming increasingly difficult. The capacity of newly divorced couples to get a new mortgage has gone down because there is less equity in properties and tougher lending conditions.”

Although estranged couples can live separately as soon as they wish, the formal divorce process only begins once one of them has filed a divorce petition and applied for a decree nisi (providing the other party does not object to the divorce).

The division of assets can either be agreed amicably and formalised by the court with a consent order, or via a financial order which incorporates a parallel legal process in which the splitting of assets and income are thrashed out.…