Divorce is on the decrease according to statistics released by the Office For National Statistics for 2011.
In 2011 the number of divorces in England and Wales decreased by 1.7% to 117,558 compared with 119,589 in 2010. This continues the ongoing decline in divorces since 2003 when there were 153,065 divorces recorded by both the Office For National Statistics and the Ministry of Justice Fam man system.
The decline in the number of filed divorces is consistent with a fall in the number of people getting married to 2009.
The fall in marriages to 2009 is more than likely due to the increasing number of couples choosing to cohabit rather than get married.
The number of divorces continued to rise between 1931 and 1990 as a result of changes in behaviour and attitudes in society in general. However since the start of the “great recession” in 2008 the number of divorces recorded has declined dramatically.
The effects of divorce reach far beyond money. There are many health consequences related to divorce that can affect a fragmented family both mentally and physically. Studies published in the “American Journal of Sociology” and the “Journal of Marriage and the Family” suggest that divorced men in most developed countries have twice the premature mortality rate of married men, and divorced women are also more likely to die at an early age than married women. Additionally, the years following a divorce present a greater risk of depression and other mental health disorders.
The effects of divorce on children depend on the age of the child at the time of the divorce. According to the University of New Hampshire, infants and toddlers seem to experience the fewest effects from a parent’s divorce, though many may experience appetite suppression or moodiness. Children older than 3, however, have greater difficulty adjusting to the separation and might believe that they are somehow responsible for their parents’ divorce. Both elementary-aged children and adolescents might act out with anger or suffer from mental anguish or depression. Some might experience divided loyalty between their divorced parents.
It is understandable that by the time two people are ready for divorce there are many angry, resentful and bitter feelings accumulated during the course of the marital relationship. Very few divorces are friendly and amicable with the former spouses becoming friends. Of course this does happen but it is more the exception than the rule. Having children to consider and care for does not seem to mediate the types of behavior displayed by many former spouses. In fact, all too often, the most resentful and angry of the two divorcing parents are all too willing to display a vindictiveness directed against the other parent by using the children as weapons in the divorce and post divorce war. These types of vengeful parents do not seem to understand that the only victims of this type of behavior are the children.
Rebecca is a middle-aged woman who is recently divorced. She and her husband were married for 25 years when he told her he wanted a divorce because he is in love with someone else. For the past few years, Rebecca was unhappy in her marriage, but she never thought that they would divorce. She became accustomed to her life and it’s routine. Rebecca had no idea that her husband was cheating on her and so his revelation came as a total surprise.
She is now living alone and wondering what will become of her life. Her family and friends are there for her, with her married children living close by. Rebecca continues to work part-time at the same job she’s held for seven years. Financially, she is okay, but not as monetarily “comfortable” as when she was married.