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Money woes see divorce rate rise

Money woes may be to blame for a rise in divorce rates, according to research by the Office for National Statistics.

More couples are getting divorced and economic pressures may be to blame, new research suggests.

The number of divorces in England and Wales rose to 118,140 in 2012 - an increase of 0.5% on the previous year, according to The Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The number of divorces in 2012 was highest among men and women aged 40 to 44.

Partnerships buckle under financial strain

The Divorces in England and Wales study looked at the impact of the economic downturn on the number of break-ups.

The report states: "One theory suggests that recession could contribute to a rise in partnership break-ups because of increased financial strain, changes in employment and related lifestyle changes.

"Social research in Britain has shown that unemployment and downturns in the housing market may be associated with family instability."

One in 20 marriages last less than a year

A separate study by found that one in 20 divorced couples threw in the towel after less than a year of marriage.

The poll of 2,000 Brits also shows that whirlwind romances are popular. 

One in seven of those polled admit to having been in a relationship with their future spouse for less than a year before getting married.

But while money woes are being blamed for marriage beak-ups, exiting a marriage also brings money woes as couples are left to split assets.

Financial impact of divorce

The study found that one in five people take out life insurance upon getting married, as they plan for the future with their new husband or wife.

But Matt Lloyd, head of life insurance at, warns that such cover also needs to be reviewed in the event of a split.

This is to ensure any payout goes to the right person should the worst happen.

He says: "People shouldn’t simply assume that because they’ve been divorced, their ex isn’t entitled to a share of their assets.

Could your ex receive your life insurance pay-out?

Lloyd adds: "In the case of life insurance, if you’ve named beneficiaries on your policy and not reviewed or updated it recently, the payout could go to the wrong person.

"This could potentially be an ex-spouse, regardless of how long you were married for or how long ago it might have been.

"The same goes for any death-in-service cover that your employer offers. People sign up to this, name a beneficiary and then forget about the policy."

"But it’s always a good idea to review your beneficiaries with major life changes such as marriage or divorce. As your circumstances change, so might your insurance requirements."

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Alex Cinus

Alex Cinus

Alex Cinus was a reporter at He started out writing for newspapers in Monmouthshire and Newport before moving to Italy to teach English. After four years in Sardinia he joined the team at

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