Divorce figures released by the National Office of Statistics (ONS) have revealed that the divorce rate in Britain today is 200 times what it was 100 years ago. According to the ONS report, there were 119,589 divorces in 2010 compared to only 580 in 1911.

The figures, released by the Office of National Statistics to commemorate 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic, showed that the rise in divorce figures had occurred despite there being fewer marriages – the number of couples tying the know in 2010 was 241,100 – this compares with 274,943 marriages in 1911. Interestingly, as a rate against the overall population, the difference in the number of marriages becomes more apparent; at 8.7 per 1000 people in 2011 and 15.2 per 1000 in 1911.

Whilst providing an interesting insight into the past, it is quite difficult to compare any figures on divorce from 100 years ago with those of today without looking at other factors. For a start, it was much more difficult to obtain a divorce in those days; especially for women; who would have to have proven adultery plus an ‘additional fault’ in order to file for divorce. In addition, there was a much greater stigma placed on divorcees during that time, which undoubtedly led to couples refraining from splitting up.

It would be interesting to take a closer look at the differences between the reasons cited for divorce in 1911 compared with those of today. There is a suggestion that due to the increased life expectancy in today’s society, when faced with the prospect of spending another 30 years with their spouse, people unhappy in their relationship are deciding that they need to take action sooner rather than later.

Whatever the reason for separating, divorce is one of the most difficult and stressful things a person can go through in their life. As such, it is vital that you have a solicitor you can trust to represent you.  For free initial advice regarding divorce or separation from one of the leading teams of family law solicitors in the North West, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

By Antonia Love, Divorce Lawyer in Lancashire