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Cash strapped couples lift divorce rate

Sorry, separating couples are not reporting financial issues as the basis of separation. And the stats on divorces is not representative of separations for their is no clear stats at this time for separations for de facto partners. Probably better to look at incompatibility and over-idealised expectations of marriage/relationship that failed to eventuate as a more common reason for separation.
The Age (Melbourne)
4 December 2010

Cash strapped couples lift divorce rate

The number of divorces granted in Australia rose for the first time in almost a decade as some experts suggest the increase could be linked to growing money worries.

The number of divorces rose to 49,448 in 2009, an increase of five per cent, or 2239, on the total in 2008, the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures reveal.

Once population growth is factored in the rate of marriage breakdown rose from 2.2 divorces per 1000 people to 2.3 per 1000 people in 2009.

It's the first increase in the number and rate of divorces since 2001.

Not-for-profit support group Relationships Australia says the increase could be linked to the global financial crisis.

"We don't know for sure but we do know whenever we survey people about the factors that affect their relationship … the top three are money, work and kids in that order," national spokeswoman Anne Hollonds said.

"The last time we did a survey in late 2008, when the GFC was just starting, we found the number of people that mentioned financial stress as a key factor had more than doubled in comparison to the previous survey in 2006."

Ms Hollonds said when people were struggling with their relationships "it often is these additional stresses at a time of financial crisis that can tip you over the edge".

She expects divorces to continue rising for the next year or two as there's often a lag between problems surfacing and couples actually deciding to split.

The ABS figures, released on Friday, note that the 2008 crude divorce rate of 2.2 per 1000 people was the lowest in 20 years.

The median age of males and females who were divorced in 2009 was 44.4 and 41.5 years respectively.

The bureau also released the latest marriage statistics this week.

In 2009, there were 120,118 marriages registered in Australia, up 1.1 per cent on the previous year's 118,756 weddings.

It was the highest level of marriage on record.

The median age of the men who were hitched last year was 31.5 years, while women were slightly younger at 29.2.

"In both cases that was 0.1 years lower than in 2008," the ABS notes.

"The last time the median age at marriage fell was in 1973 for males and 1969 for females."

Relationship Australia's Ms Hollonds says if married couples are struggling as a result of financial stress the key is to get help early.

People should seek financial advice and relationship counselling, she said.

"It's important that you don't just hope for the best."

3 Comments

Cash strapped couples lift divorce rate

"ABS divorce rate of 2.2 per 1000 people". Really? I wonder how many people are separated and cant be bothered with the official divorce? or for that matter how many couples with kids that split and were never officially married! statistics can be SO misleading!!

huh? | sydney - December 04, 2010, 3:01PM



If there are financial stresses on a couple, then surely as individuals after divorce, these stresses will be even worse after assets are divided.

HotPies | Premiers Paradise - December 04, 2010, 4:03PM



Sorry, separating couples are not reporting financial issues as the basis of separation.

And the stats on divorces is not representative of separations for their is no clear stats at this time for separations for de facto partners.

Probably better to look at incompatibility and over-idealised expectations of marriage/relationship that failed to eventuate as a more common reason for separation.

With the increased costs of filing any application including divorces and a fee for applying for an exemption from the payment of court filing fees in family law jurisdictions it is more likely to be expected that the number of divorces decreases

fllawyer - December 04, 2010, 4:17PM

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