Many people go through life never needing the advice of a solicitor. When they do it usually relates to a family matter.
A few people will use a legal advisor to help them to draw up a pre-nuptial agreement, but the vast majority of family law work still revolves around the breakup of a family rather than the forming of one. Every year, in the UK, around 115,000 couples seek a divorce or to dissolve their civil partnership.That is a rate of 13 divorces per hour.
Unsurprisingly a lot of the work the UK’s solicitors and legal consultants do relates to divorce, the ending of civil partnerships, child custody and maintenance.
Here are the figures from the Office of National Statistics:
Over 48% of the couples who end their relationship have at least one child aged under 16.
Only one in seven divorces occurbecause of extramarital affairs.
Today, over 27% of marriages end due to the couple growing apart.
In 17% of cases, couples state that unreasonable behaviour is the main reason for their divorce.
Just over 10% of people told their legal advisors that their mid-life crisis was behind their decision to end their marriage.
The number of divorces in the UK has fallen from a peak of 165,018, in 1993, however 42% of marriages are set to end in divorce. It is too early to say if there will be a difference in the rate of separation amongst those who choose a civil partnership instead of marriage.
Another notable trend is for older couples to divorce. Over 7,000 of the divorces that took place in 2012 involved someone over the age of 60.
Rodney Hylton-Potts of Hylton-Potts Legal Consultants in London specialises in family law. He has experience of international family law and, over the years, has dealt with many complex cases.