Grant Thornton has released the data from their annual survey into current trends in divorce and family law.
Grant Thornton, an independent global assurance, tax and advisory firm, have, for the last ten years, carried out a survey amongst family lawyers in the UK. The purpose of the survey is to find out more about the ever-changing ‘landscape of family law.’ Grant Thornton’s 2013 matrimonial survey questioned 85 leading family lawyers in the UK.
There has been much talk over the last year over the rise in ‘silver separations’ – an issue which we’ve covered previously in a couple of our posts – and in response the rise in older couples divorcing or separating, Grant Thornton asked family lawyers for information on the ages of their clients. Grant Thornton’s survey found that 86% of respondent’s clients were aged from 40 to 49, whilst a further 10% said the most common age of their clients was 30 to 39 years. Although 53% of respondents said they hadn’t seen any change in the age of their clients, 38% said that they had seen an increase in their clients’ ages.
Since their first matrimonial survey in, Grant Thornton has sought to find out more behind the reasons why marriages break down. In 2011, for example, their survey found that for the first time growing apart or falling out of love were the main reasons for marriage breakdown, overtaking extra-marital affairs. The 2013 survey shows that this continues to be the case as 29% of the family lawyers who responded said that growing apart was the main reason for their clients’ divorce, whilst 24% cited extra-marital affairs.
Grant Thornton’s 2013 also found that, as in previous years, most of the marriages dealt with by divorce lawyers had lasted between 11 and 20 years. However, Grant Thornton’s 2013 survey indicated the highest proportion of long marriages ending in divorce; 14% of divorce lawyers who responded said that most of their divorces cases had originated from marriages of 20 years or more, in comparison to just 4% in 2012.
For further information on Grant Thornton’s 2013 matrimonial survey and report, please visit their website.