Further to my previous post, I've now belatedly read Wednesday's G2 which contains a further article about the divorce in a time of economic decline. The author of that article refers anecdotally to the fact some family law firms have 'never been busier', but does not quote any statistics showing a recent rise in divorce rates per se.
Indeed, the Office for National Statistics website says: In 2007 the provisional divorce rate in England and Wales fell to 11.9 divorcing people per 1,000 married population compared with the 2006 figure of 12.2. The divorce rate is at its lowest level since 1981. And as I thought those figures only just cover the very beginning of the credit crunch worries.
So whilst we might be anticipating a rise in divorce rates if the current economic downturn continues, I think BBC Radio Bristol has jumped the gun a little. That being said the article in the Times highlights very clearly the changing patterns of litigation behaviour and outcomes in the divorce cases that are currently running - precipitated by falling bonuses, negative equity and difficulty selling houses. Marilyn Stowe is quoted as making an interesting point about the tactic of drawing out proceedings by defending divorce suits in order to put off being forced out of the matrimonial home.
(PS: it would have been far quicker if I'd just read John Bolch's post)