Stubborn angry husband and wife, spouses sit separate on sofa at home ignore each other avoid talking after arguing. Unhappy young Caucasian couple think of divorce breakup after family quarrel.

How the cost-of-living crisis is affecting divorce

With many of us worrying more and more about everyday costs, the feelings of stress and anxiety can take their toll. The UK continues to suffer a cost-of-living crisis, with rising prices for essentials such as food, energy, and housing significantly impacting household budgets.

This financial strain can play a part in marital relationships, particularly if you’re currently trying to separate from your partner. With financial stress being a well-known catalyst for divorce, the current economic climate is proving to be no exception.

In this article, we’ll be discussing how the current cost-of-living crisis is affecting decisions on marriage and divorce and how you can navigate these difficult times.

No-fault divorce

The introduction of the no-fault divorce law in April 2022 was a landmark change intended to reduce conflict among separating couples by allowing them to apply for divorce jointly without assigning blame.

However, even with the simplification of the legal process, the cost of living crisis has made couples more cautious about initiating a divorce due to the financial uncertainties involved.

Law firms have noted a spike in enquiries, particularly around “Divorce Day” in January. This could likely be driven by couples reassessing their situations after the financially taxing holiday period​.

Professional mediation can still be necessary to ensure equitable outcomes, which is why we recommend seeking the support of a divorce solicitor to guide you through the process.

Dividing assets

The economic downturn has complicated the division of assets in divorces, with fluctuating values of properties and investments making fair settlements harder to achieve.

Lawyers find themselves navigating not only the emotional and logistical complexities of divorce but also the intricate financial repercussions of the cost-of-living crisis, which affects everything from asset valuation to spousal maintenance decisions.

Family home

The family home is one of the most critical and controversial assets in a divorce. The current economic crisis has seen a marked impact on both property values and rental markets.

House prices have seen a slight decline, whereas rental costs have surged, complicating decisions about whether to sell the family home or retain it for rental income or residential stability​.

Nesting

An innovative arrangement known as “nesting” has gained traction among divorcing couples. This arrangement, where children remain in the family home while parents rotate in and out, can be particularly appealing during times of financial stress.

It minimises disruption for children and avoids the financial burden of maintaining two separate homes during a time when the cost of living is high. However, nesting requires a high level of cooperation between ex-partners and can be financially draining if not managed carefully​.

For those struggling to be amicable following a divorce, it could be worth getting the help of a professional who can help you act in the best interests of the kids. While times may be tough, the lasting impact this event may have on your children will make this count in the long run.

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