The latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics for the year 2013, show a fall of nearly 3% in couples divorcing since 2012. There were 114,720 divorces in England and Wales in 2013, this being a decrease of 2.9% since 2012 when there were 118,140 divorces.

Despite the decrease, a level of divorce will always be inevitable as unfortunately many couples will find they are simply unable to live ‘happily ever after’.

It is worth noting that the decrease in divorces may be consistent with the increasing number of couples choosing to maintain their relationship as co-habitees, rather than entering into marriage. There are many reasons why couples would choose to turn to these less traditional routes.

One reason that stands clear is the sheer cost a wedding incurs.

According to well known bridal brands and institutions such as you and your wedding and bridal magazine, an average wedding is costing couples around the £20,000 mark. To many this would be an unnecessary and excessive expense to declare one’s commitment to another.

Less scrutiny is now placed on cohabiting couples and we no longer live in a culture where marriage is deemed as a must. However, emphasis must be placed on the fact that cohabiting couples do not share the same legal rights as married partners. If a cohabiting couple were to separate, the lack of legal status far from making matters simple can actually greatly complicate the division of financial assets.

Another important point to consider is that as s whole, couples are settling down much later in life. In this day and age a young woman is not considered to be ‘left on the shelf’ if she is not married or engaged to be married. In recent years men and women have been marrying on average five years later than a quarter of a century ago, and more emphasis is being placed on couples living together for a longer period before tying the knot. Subsequently it has been well established that those marrying at older ages are in fact at a lower risk of suffering marital breakdown.

No matter which route you take with your partner, whether that be co-habitation or marriage, Farleys will be here to help if life does not work out as planned. To speak to one of our specialist divorce solicitors, please call us on 0333 789 4569 or send us an online enquiry.