Rising Living Costs Lead to Postponement of Divorces

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Historically, there has been a large increase in divorce inquiries following the Christmas holidays. It’s so widespread, in fact, that the first working day of the new year has come to be known as “divorce day”.

But that trend looks set to change in 2024. New research from Legal & General has found that the cost of living crisis has stalled more than 270,000 divorces. In this post, we’ll explore how rising living costs have affected divorce proceedings in the UK – and what options are available for divorcing couples.

Will “divorce day” 2024 be in January?

Although divorce day has typically been the first working day of the new year, statistics suggest that’s not the case for 2024. Business data from Co-op Legal Services has predicted that divorce day will fall somewhere in the Spring, rather than in January.

The stresses associated with Christmas, coupled with the pressure to create a happy home environment over the holidays, has often made the early year a time for new divorces. However, data from Legal & General suggests that the shift away from early-year divorces is largely down to the cost of living crisis, with 19% of divorces delayed due to financial reasons.

What are the financial implications of a divorce?

Even without a delay, there are many ways that a divorce can make a dent in your finances. In the year following a divorce, the parties will find their annual incomes drop by an average of £9,700.

The financial impact of a divorce can also make an impact in later life. On average, people see £63 reduced from their pension funds each month.

If there’s no prenuptial agreement in place, then any financial assets obtained before or after your marriage may not be protected. You’ll also need to consider other factors, such as child maintenance and the division of any outstanding debts you have together.

What’s the impact of a delayed divorce?

So, does it really matter if divorce proceedings are delayed? In most cases, the answer is “yes”. Nearly two-thirds of divorcees who delayed their proceedings due to financial reasons later regretted their decision.

Sadly, this was down to the personal impact on their lives and loved ones. 24% said that the delay had the biggest impact on their relationship with their children, and 13% reported their other familial relationships were most affected.

Plus, a staggering 41% stated that their finances had been most severely impacted by the delay. This suggests that postponing divorce proceedings can actually worsen financial difficulties, rather than improve them.

Why is seeking advice so important for your finances?

As the cost of living increases, it can be tempting to put off court proceedings. Unfortunately, that rarely comes with the savings that people expect.

Seeking legal advice from an experienced divorce and family law solicitor can make a big difference. That’s because there may be financial issues that you haven’t considered. For example, when splitting their finances, only 1 in 5 couples discussed pensions, whilst only 31% signed clean break orders to shield against future financial claims from their ex-spouse.

Many divorcees feel the process is stacked against them, with 2 in 5 viewing it as “financially unfair”. Having a legal expert on hand ensures you’re not missing out on money you may be entitled to. It also ensures the process goes smoothly and you’re not left feeling dissatisfied.

And the emotional impact…?

That’s without considering the emotional impact on you and your loved ones. Even without delays, divorce proceedings can take a long time – with a minimum of 6 months, if there are no specific complications. However, if there are complicating factors to take into account, such as a child arrangements dispute or complex financial situation, then it could take much longer.

It’s always best to get a head-start with legal issues to ensure you’re not caught out. That way, you can get back to enjoying quality time with your loved ones.

Protect your finances with expert legal advice

Getting a divorce is a very stressful experience, and that’s especially true when you’re worried about finances. It’s important to note that this blog post is for informational purposes only. Taking that first step and seeking legal advice can instantly put your mind at ease. It also simplifies the process, with access to guidance and support from an experienced divorce solicitor who understands the ins and outs of divorce and family law.

Ready to get started? Osbourne Pinner Solicitors offers a free initial consultation to discuss your circumstances and options. Simply fill out our online form below, or email us at [email protected]. If you’d like to book over the phone, you can call us on 0203-983-5080.

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