The 117year itch How marriage is lasting longer as divorce rates plunge

first_imgAnd according to the latest figures, even those marriages which ultimately end in divorce are lasting longer than in the past.The median duration of such a marriage stood at 11.7 years in 2014, compared with 9.6 years in 1995 and 8.9 years a decade before that. Use regions/landmarks to skip ahead to chart.Marriages have been lasting longer over the last three decades. Median duration of marriage, England and Wales, 1963 to 2014Long description.No description available.Structure.Chart type: line chart.line with 52 data points.The chart has 1 X axis displaying values.The chart has 1 Y axis displaying values.Chart graphic.Marriages have been lasting longer over the last three decadesMarriages have been lasting longer over the last three decades – Highcharts CloudMarriages have been lasting longer over the last threedecadesMarriages have been lasting longer over the last three decadesMedian duration of marriage, England and Wales, 1963 to 20141970198019902000201002.557.51012.515Source: ONS Fewer couples are marrying but those who do are more likely to stay togetherCredit:Alamy She argued that the virtual abolition of legal aid, prenuptial agreements and house prices could be the real cause.Sir Paul Coleridge, former High Court family judge and founder of Marriage Foundation, said: “It really is heartening news during the season of family goodwill that the number of intact families is not declining despite the generally held myth that divorce is simply set to get worse and worse.“In fact there have been two bits of good ‘marriage’ news in the last week. Today’s news that newlyweds are doing better than any time since 1974 and last week’s news that there has been barely any increase in cohabitation among new parents.“Just perhaps people are at last beginning to understand that making a formal and public commitment to one another before having a child is about the best insurance policy against future family breakdown that it is possible to obtain.” But Collette Bailey, partner in the Family team at Gardner Leader, claimed that despite the apparent shift away from divorce many people would prefer to split but cannot afford to. For those married in 1999 in Eng&Wales, 31% had divorced within 15 years (compared to 20% for those married in 1969) https://t.co/lGRkqwvHak— Elizabeth McLaren (@StatsLiz) December 5, 2016 itch One family lawyer said cohabitation appeared to be operating as a form of “natural selection” for relationships, with only the fittest surviving into marriage and beyond.   marriage Average age at divorce for both men and women has increased since 1985 in England and Wales https://t.co/3yQle3xEUL pic.twitter.com/V4vcXGn7Hu— Elizabeth McLaren (@StatsLiz) December 5, 2016 Some might say it just seems longer.But official figures suggest that British marriages really are lasting longer than a generation ago.The latest analysis from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that divorce – both measured as a rate and a total number – fell to the lowest level for 40 years in 2014.Overall 111,169 couples in England and Wales divorced in 2014, a fall of 3.1 per cent in a year and as much as 27 per cent in just over a decade.center_img Divorce lawyers and analysts said the fall in divorce rates appears, perhaps ironically, to reflect the overall shift away from marriage, with more couples choosing to cohabit at least initially.The argument is that those who do then marry are more likely to stay together. The divorce rate has also dropped by around 30 per cent in a decade, for both men and women, to reach 9.3 per thousand married people.It continues a downward trend seen in recent years. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. One lawyer claimed couples would rather divorce but cannot afford toCredit:Alamy Harry Benson, research director of the Marriage Foundation think-tank said that this reflected a fall in the number of couples divorcing within the first decade of marriage, by far the most dangerous period for marriages.“So what we’re seeing is that those men who do marry today are taking it a lot more seriously,” he explained.“Today’s marriages include fewer ‘sliders’ who get married under family or social pressure to do the decent thing and more ‘deciders’ who really mean it.” She said: “The ONS dip in divorce rates may not be down to the number of people willingly wanting to stay together but is more likely to do with the increasing pressure and expense of divorce since the removal of legal aid in 2010.“We did a study earlier this year on 2,000 divorced and married couples in England and Wales, and found that 18 per cent are co-existing to avoid the cost and stress of divorce.” Katie Lowe, a family lawyer with JMW Solicitors, said: “Some might argue that cohabitation is almost a form of natural selection for marriage, preventing couples in fragile or troubled relationships from progressing to marriage and, quite possibly, to divorce.”She added that the rising average age at which people divorce – now 45.6 for men and 43.1 for women – showed that a “mid-life mirror” is at work in many relationships. Some might argue that cohabitation is almost a form of natural selection for marriage, preventing couples in fragile or troubled relationships from progressing to marriage and, quite possibly, to divorceKatie Lowe, JMW Solicitors It really is heartening news during the season of family goodwill that the number of intact families is not declining despite the generally held myth that divorce is simply set to get worse and worseSir Paul Coleridgelast_img

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