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Data Shows Changing Face of Modern Family Life

26 Oct 2017

Posted in Family Law

As most of us with memories long enough to recall a handful of channels on TV and no Internet can testify,we’ve seen much transformation in the last generation.

Like all change, there is plenty of room for debate and often statistics can provide room for interesting conversations.

As divorce lawyers, who deal with family law as part of our many services, we at Pindoria Solicitors have witnessed the differences in family life more than many, with co-habitation, civil partnerships, and same-sex marriages something, which has changed life beyond all recognition from a generation or two ago. 

For instance, new data has shown that the number of people in their late fifties who have never married has increased by 194 per cent in 13 years.

The analysis of ONS figures show that the number of people in their fifties who have never been married or in a civil partnership, and who do not cohabit has also almost doubled since 2002, from 377,180 to 724,439.

Also, lowering divorce rates suggest that those who do marry are now less likely to split, with analysis published late last year suggesting that divorce fell to its lowest level for 40 years in 2014.

Divorce rates increased during the 1970s and peaked during the 1990s, at a high of 14.2 splits per 1,000 couples in 1994.

Some psychologists have said the experience of being children in a divorcing home has put some of the children of the 70s and 80s off the concept of marriage.

Certainly, this may well be the case, and the wave of divorces in this era has unquestionably affected some more than others.

Also, according to recent research there are a growing number of older people in relationships, which do not involve cohabiting or marriage.

It’s probably also safe to say that many men and women have naturally become more wary about life sharing situations, which may compromise their own feeling of stability and financial security.

This all means that many people are looking at co-habiting and marriage with more caution, with legal protection in case a relationship does not work out.

Some argue that marriage is outdated, but whilst it is clear it is no longer the obvious choice, in 2016, ONS data showed a slight rise in marriage, which had been in decline for many years. Therefore, talk of marriage’s demise maybe somewhat premature.

It’s all head scratching food for thought, poring over the statistics, but what we can say for sure is that in these liberated times thereare certainly more options about lifestyles.

It will be interesting to see how these changes shape life for the next generation.