Couples may be staying together to avoid debt

An expert has suggested the credit crunch has pushed divorce rates down as people fear facing mortgage arrears and debt management problems alone.

Consilium Financial Planning said while remortgaging was a financial option for couples going through a divorce prior to the UK’s economic slowdown, tighter regulations on mortgage deals now mean “this avenue leads to a cul-de-sac”.

Managing director Kevin Morgan said divorces may decrease “simply because invariably the ‘equity’ in the relationship is property and if it can’t be sold, it’s substantially more difficult to release funds”.

According to the Office for National Statistics, England and Wales have seen a seven per cent decline in divorce rates since 2005 and a decrease for two consecutive years. The rate is at its lowest since 1984.

Records for 2006 show divorce rates for men and women under 40 have fallen the most, with decreases of ten and nine per cent respectively.

By Morwenna Kearns


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