Recession's toll on divorce rates ends as applications return to 2008 levels

THE RECESSION’S EFFECT on relationships has eased, according to figures that show divorce application rates have returned to pre-economic downturn levels.

At a time when austerity measures were enforced, jobs were lost and incomes reduced, divorce rates dropped on a similar scale: in 2009, there was a reduction in applications of over 12% (3,693 applications) and again in 2010 (3,357 applications) before bottoming out in 2011 - writes thejournal.ie.

But the number of couples applying for divorce has been rising slowly since – reaching their highest level this century in 2015 at 4,290 applications. Those numbers dropped slightly in 2016 to 4,162, but are expected to rise again this year.

Rising divorce rates are usually a positive indicator: they suggest that individuals are financially stable and have adequate access to solicitors and State supports to leave their spouses.

“Many within the solicitors’ profession report that family law disputes were not resolved but postponed during the recession,” said Keith Walsh, chair of the Family and Child Law Committee, Law Society of Ireland.

“[They] are only now making their way through the courts.

“In some instances these issues were stalled due to greater economic problems such as dealing with negative equity and mortgage problems, unemployment and emigration or loss of businesses and investment.”

The latest CSO figures back up that theory: the number of divorced people in Ireland increased from 87,770 in 2011 to 103,895 in 2016 -an increase of 16,125 people.

The number of people identified as separated was up marginally from 116,194 to 118,178. As divorce in Ireland generally requires a period of separation in the first instance (up to five years), the CSO said the data “no doubt reflects both a progression for people from separation to divorce, combined with new numbers joining the category of separation”.

Divorce proceedings

In Ireland, a couple must beliving apart for 4 out of the last 5 years before applying for a divorce (with some notable exceptions, such as adultery). To begin the separation process, you must go through the courts and apply for a judicial separation.

2012 saw the lowest level of applications for judicial separation at 1,269, down 35% from the previous year. The figure increased just slightly last year to1,324.

According to Walsh, one of the reasons for this could be that during the recession, couples whose marriage had broken down could not afford to separate as they could not afford to run two separate households and pay the mortgage.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that decisions to legally separate were postponed until a degree of financial stability returned. This may have taken two, three or four years, at which stage couples now qualified for divorce instead of judicial separation.

Among the changes to family law that’s referred to in new Law Society of Ireland handbook, is an emphasis on listening to the child at the heart of divorce cases on what they want.

The new handbook for family solicitors, called Family Law in Ireland – Code of Practice which is being launched today, also provides a set of tips and advice on counselling clients on how they can manage their parent or child relationship during a divorce or separation.

The Law Society of Ireland added that it was pleased the government has committed to developing a dedicated family court in Dublin.

Read also more news of Dublin on our site.

couples divorceproceedings family Ireland
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
1 view in december
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
Anotorious Estonian hitman who travelled to Ireland to carry out a murder for the Kinahan Gang has been caged for six years. Imre Arakas, who was under garda surveillance, flew into Ireland on a murder mission to take out James “Mago” Gately. The Special Criminal Court was told that Arakas bought a wig in Dublin city and used an encrypted Blackberry phone to receive information about the movements and location of Mr Gately in Northern Ireland. The 60-year-...
Society
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said he was "very satisfied" with the EU's position on the Irish backstop at last night's summit meeting. He said the European Union stands by the Withdrawal Agreement that was negotiated. EU leaders rejected British Prime Minister Theresa May's call for legally binding assurances on the Irish backstop and ruled out any changes to the Withdrawal Agreement. Speaking to reporters on day two of the summit in Brussels, Mr Varadkar sa...
Society
Gardai are appealing for witnesses after a woman was allegedly sexually assaulted in a car in Dublin. The incident happened around Ballsbridge in the early hours of Sunday morning with investigators on the hunt for a man in his '20s or 30s' with short dark hair, a short beard, and glasses. A source told Dublin Live that one theory being explored is that the victim may have been in a taxi at the time. The source explained: "This woman was enjoying a night o...
Society
Gardai have been gathering CCTV evidence at a hotel where an alleged rape involving a well-known sports star took place. Forensic experts and detectives visited the property in South Co Dublin on Tuesday night to hunt for clues. Initially it was believed the incident took place at a south inner-city hotel but after further inquiries it was determined it happened closer to the Dundrum area. A source said: “Detectives and scenes of crime gardai arrived at th...
Society
The plans for the SDCC and Cluid housing social apartments were approved at Monday's full meeting of the council. On Monday, 81 social housing apartments for the elderly on a site beside Tallaght Stadium were approved by South Dublin County Council (SDCC) - writes dublinlive.ie This was despite a campaign calling on the council to save the land which houses a council depot at Watergate Sean Walsh Park. Local groups such as Tallaght Community Council and Ta...
Society
Two people have been arrested following a stabbing incident in Dublin city centre. The incident happened on Essex Quay at around 4.40pm. A man aged in his late 20s was treated at the scene and taken to St James's Hospital with non-life threatening injuries following the incident. A man and woman, both aged in their 20s, were arrested at the scene and are being detained at Pearse Street Garda Station. Gardaí sealed off part of the south quays for several ho...
Society
A kitchen went up in flames yesterday after some Christmas decorations were left on top of a microvwave. The Dublin Fire Brigade had to be called to quell the flames after tinsel caught fire having been left over a mircowave. Firefighters have warned others to be more careful with their decorating saying the tinsel was placed over the microwave's vent causing it to go up once the machine was turned on. They said: "Yesterday, Firefighters attended a kitchen...
Society
A Dublin mother is extremely concerned for the welfare of her 15-year-old son after he never came home from the shop yesterday. Aleksejs Snitko went to the Tesco shop in Balbriggan yesterday, Saturday December 9 at around 4.30pm. His mother Iveta told Dublin Live that when her son left the home, he was wearing light grey basketball shoes, tight sport trousers and a warm navy jacket with a hoodie. He was also carrying a black and blue Puma school bag. The t...
Society
A man and woman were arrested following a stabbing incident that left Dublin city centre on lockdown on Sunday evening. The pair were taken to Pearse st station after another man in his early 20s was hospitalised with 'non-fatal injuries'. It is believed a fight spilled out onto the road with one witness telling Dublin Live that she thought the man was going to be "throw him into the river". She said: "They stopped the traffic while they were fighting that...