More couples are untying wedding knot

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THE number of couples getting divorced is increasing, according to most recent figures.

Data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the number of divorces in England and Wales in 2010 was 119,589, a 4.9 per cent increase since 2009, when there were 113,949 divorces. It is the first year the number of divorces has increased since 2003.

The figures equate to a rate of 11.1 people divorcing per 1,000 of the married population in 2010, up from a rate of 10.5 in 2009.

Fiona Wood, a partner with the law firm Pannone, said: “I suspect the number of divorces climbed in 2010 due to the effects of the recession starting to impact on personal circumstances.

“Finances are one of many reasons for divorce, and a downturn can take time to translate from bad news for business to job losses, money worries and problems at home.”

Compared with 2009, divorce rates rose across all age groups for women. Rates increased in men for all age groups above 25 years.

Women in their late 20s had the highest divorce rates of all female age groups, with 25.9 females divorcing per 1,000 married women aged 25 to 29.

In comparison, men in their early 30s had the highest rates, with 22.5 men divorcing per 1,000 aged 30 to 34.

Meanwhile, the figures revealed the average age at divorce increased slightly for men and women in 2010 – it was 44.2 for men in 2010 compared with 44 in 2009, and 41.7 for women compared with 41.5 in 2009.

Almost a fifth of men and women who divorced in 2010 had their previous marriage end in divorce.