Opinion & Debate

Published on December 14th, 2013 | by Kelly Rose Bradford


Divorce figures show increase in women’s ‘unreasonable behaviour’

Official divorce figures have revealed a sixfold increase in men being granted a divorce because of their wife’s ‘unreasonable behaviour’.

The Telegraph reports that analysis of figures dating back 40 years show a ‘dramatic rise’ in cases citing women’s behaviour for the dissolution of marriages, with a sixfold leap between 1971 and 2011.

Lawyers said the trend was likely to be a ‘reflection of women becoming more financially independent’ and ‘more willing to assert themselves’.

Fiona Wood from Pannone Solicitors told the paper: “Some wives who might be in well-paid jobs and are therefore less dependent on their husbands than in previous generations are simply more confident about leaving a marriage if they are unhappy and going off to do their own thing.

“Also, divorce settlements for the financially weaker spouse have become more generous in England and Wales over the last decade. This means that even if wives who are not in such a strong financial position walk out of a marriage, they still believe that they are likely to be OK financially when it is legally brought to a close.

“Those two scenarios can leave husbands with little option but to file for divorce on the grounds of their wife’s unreasonable behaviour.”

Current grounds for divorce are adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, having lived apart for more than two years (if both parties agree to the divorce), or five if only one party wishes to end the marriage.



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About the Author

Kelly Rose Bradford

is a London-based journalist and broadcaster, writing for the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, the Sunday Telegraph, and a host of women's magazines. Her robust opinions and feisty debating skills make her in demand as a social commentator, regularly guesting on ITV's This Morning programme, and across many radio stations, including 5 Live and BBC Radio London.

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