Divorce rates are down, but single parenting continues to rise

Divorce rates might be down, but many children still never see their fathers.

In the past 14 years, divorce rates in the UK have dropped by over a fifth. So what happened to couples across Britain? 

For a start, fewer people are getting married, dropping by a tenth. Social pressure to tie the knot has reduced, meaning marriage is now down to choice.

Deciding to marry is costly as well, the average cost is now £27,000, without including the cost of a house for the newlyweds. The average salary is £27,000, the average house price is £225,621. Meaning that before you’re even over the honeymoon period, your bank account is after divorce.

Divorce is even more costly, both for the wallet and your mental health. Moving out is always a part of separation, typically ending in a bedsit or shared flat. Inviting your children to a less than suitable house can be difficult. 

For an increasing number of children in the UK, divorce is the norm. In 1971, just 8% of households were fronted by a single parent – today it’s a quarter.

A recent study found that 15 year old boys in the UK were more likely to have a smartphone than live with their dad. 65% of parents say that their child does have direct contact with both parents, which means that 35% don’t. There are 3 million children who never see their dads.

Children of parents who break up are more likely to struggle at school, and with drugs and mental health than children of parents who stay together. What matters is that children have love, care and a stable home. 

It’s comfortable knowing that fewer people are stuck in unhappy marriages, as well as fewer people sticking with violent or abusive partners.

However its not as good news for the children who watch their parents float between relationships and have no choice but to ride it out.

Parveen Attri, Head of Family Law at DBS, said “the breakdown of a marriage or relationship of parents is always very difficult for children and it is important that children receive adequate support to deal with the situation.

“Equally it is not in a child’s best interest to live in a household where there is conflict and unfortunately a breakdown of a relationship does in many cases lead to disputes relating to children, i.e. residence and contact issues.”

For more information about divorce and children disputes, please contact our family law team by calling 0800 157 7055, or emailing parveen.attri@dbsplus.co.uk

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