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.