I've been sent a press release by Resolution in the run up to their Family Dispute Resolution Week. Ordinarily I'd finesse this into some kind of blog post (who am I kidding, no I wouldn't), but ironically I am taking a week off family dispute resolution and can't be fagged. You may read it in all it's unedited glory below. It's the usual survey telling us what we already know, and although I can't be bothered to do any proper analysis, I wonder in passing how many of the 45% of respondents who thought divorce would involve a trip to court were thinking about attending a court building generally or court hearings specifically. There will be a darn sight more than 45% of them rocking up at the (closed) court counter to issue their divorce petition after April 2013. In future, unless you use an online divorce in a box service, or pay for a lawyer you will inevitably make "a trip to court" even if its just to issue the petition and submit your consent order.
I, however, am 100% certain not to be making any trips to any court of any description for the remainder of September. Unless I get arrested for being tipsy in charge of a sun lounger and hauled up before a Cypriot Magistrate in my swimming togs and sunnies. Which seems unlikely.
Four out of five people say children should come first in divorce
The survey results come at an important time for family law in England and Wales. The most recent statistics show a rise in divorce rates; and the family courts are facing the strain.
Ms Edwards added: “The courts are already struggling to cope, and are likely to be even busier when the legal aid cuts take effect next year, with more people trying to navigate the family justice system on their own as a result. The system is under huge pressure, and couples who use alternatives to court are much more likely to achieve swift, fair outcomes.”
Resolution is an association of 6,500 family lawyers and professionals committed to taking conflict out of family disputes. Resolution members abide by a code of practice which encourages solutions based on the needs of the whole family, and particularly the best interests of children.
ComRes interviewed 2018 British adults online between 29-31 August 2012. Results were weighted to be demographically representative of all British adults. The survey showed that:
- Aside from ‘putting the children’s interests first’ (78%), ‘ensuring that the divorce is as conflict-free as possible’ (53%) is most likely to be seen as the most, or the second most important factor to consider when going through a divorce.
- Only 3% of respondents believe that “ensuring I am financially better off than my partner” was the most or second most important consideration.
- 81% of respondents agree with the statement, “Children are usually the main casualties in divorces.”
- 45% agreed with the statement, “Most divorces involve a visit to court.”
- 40% agreed with the statement, “Divorces can never be without conflict.”
- More than four fifths of people (86%) say that they know someone close to them who has been divorced. This rises to 92% of people aged 45 and over.
- The majority of people (58%) say that a member of their family (parents, children, grandparents or another close family member) have been divorced.
ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Full tables at www.comres.co.uk
Notes to editors