Throughout the past two years there have been numerous reports in the media predicting a ‘divorce boom’ due to the coronavirus pandemic. In our article ‘What effect is the pandemic having on divorce and separations?’ we discussed a Citizens Advice report which showed a 25% increase in internet searches for people seeking divorce guidance in September 2020. But what is the true picture of the number of people getting divorced in the UK?
An increase in people considering divorce
Statistics for divorce rates in 2020 are yet to be released by the Office for National Statistics, however, like a many law firms, our family team at Hegarty Solicitors have seen an 18% rise in divorce advice enquiries online in the past two years. It remains to be seen whether this will be reflected in a national increase in divorce proceedings for the past two years or whether divorce rates will continue to follow the pattern of decline that we have seen over previous years.
So, what is actually happening to divorce rates?
The most recent divorce statistics from the Office of National Statistics show a 30% decrease in the number of divorces since a peak in 2003. In 2019, divorce rates contradicted this trend, with an 18.4% increase on 2018 figures. However, this increase likely reflects a backlog of casework from 2018 being processed in 2019 translating into a higher number of completed divorces in 2019.
The infographics below contain various statistics about divorce taken from the latest Office of National Statistics report for 2019.