Divorce Day: Almost half of wealthy people plan to separate from their partner

New research from law firm Moore Barlow reveals that a huge proportion of well-off individuals are planning to call time on their relationships thanks to the stresses and strains of the pandemic.

On the day of the year when couples are most likely to file for divorce, new research reveals that almost half of well-off people plan to separate from their partner after the Covid-19 pandemic and successive lockdowns put strain on their relationships.

A survey of high-net worth individuals from law firm Moore Barlow, reveals that 42% of those polled intend to either divorce or move away from their partner in the near future.

Suggesting the old adage that money doesn’t buy happiness is true, nearly all (97%) of those who took part in the survey said their family was under some sort of strain, with addiction (28%), coercive control (28%) and living and working together 24/7 (27%) the most common root causes of family problems.

A quarter of respondents (25%) said their family had been affected by domestic abuse, with that figure rising to 31% among women.

Few (27%) said they were considering mediation, with the evidence showing that women (33%) are more likely to propose this option to their partner than men (27%).

The majority (72%) of respondents said they had a cohabitation agreement with their partner or a declaration of trust in place.

Jan Galloway, partner in the family team at Moore Barlow, said:

“Traditionally, we see an increase in individuals planning to end their marriages after Christmas as, sadly, marital issues often come to a head during the holidays. The pandemic has exacerbated this and, in many cases, even financial security doesn’t appear to have prevented Covid from putting excessive strain on relationships. Our research shows that wealthy families saw underlying domestic issues intensify and, while no one wants to see the rate of divorce increasing, the data we’ve uncovered highlights it’s more important than ever that people understand the options open to them if they want to end a marriage.”

“There is a huge backlog in the court system, affecting all areas of family law, and the delay and costs that arise as a result are having a detrimental impact on families that are already going through difficult times. There’s never been a more prudent time to explore how to resolve family disputes without going to court. One sensible option is for people in a relationship, whether just as cohabitants, newly engaged or already married, to have agreements in place to protect both parties’ assets and make separation, should it occur, less complex.”

In December, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said he was considering ‘drastic’ plans to stop up to half of family law cases reaching court, including steps to encourage more use of mediation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR).


Sophie Millward, Citypress
Sophie.Millward@citpyress.co.uk | moorebarlow@citypress.co.uk
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