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Marriage and divorce statistics

Posted by on in Family Law

The Registrar General for Scotland has released the latest provisional figures for births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships registered during the first quarter of 2012.

The figures show 14,218 deaths were registered in Scotland between January and the end of March 2012 – the lowest number of deaths recorded during the first quarter of the year for at least 100 years. This was 317 (2.2%) fewer than in the same period of 2011, which had previously shown the lowest total.

The provisional figures show a 1.1% increase in the number of births in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period of 2011. There were 124 more marriages than in the first quarter of 2011, an increase of 4%, and a drop of 15 in the number of civil partnerships, taking the total to 83.

The latest Annual Review of Demographic Trends, also produced by the Registrar General, gives additional information on family trends in Scotland. The figures show that in 2010, the latest year available, the number of divorces was 10,034, 3% (337) fewer than the 10,371 in 2009.

From 1971 there was a marked increase in the number of divorces up to a peak of 13,365 in 1985. The early 2000s saw a slight fall from the levels recorded in the late 1980s and 1990s - perhaps because more couples are cohabiting without getting married, since divorce proceedings are not necessary to sever such relationships.

In 2010 the median duration of marriage ending in divorce was 15 years, compared with 12 years in 1999 and eleven years in 1985. Again, this change is probably due to more couples cohabiting rather than getting married.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.

Think-tank, the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), has called for the current yardsticks for measuring child poverty to be scrapped and replaced with a range of new indicators reflecting the true causes of deprivation.

In a new report, the CSJ calls for a complete overhaul of the system, in which the accent would be on measuring the underlying causes of blighted young lives, such as family breakdown, welfare dependency and educational failure, rather than the symptoms of low relative income.

The CSJ suggests a new approach to computing poverty levels, taking into account a far wider range of variables, reflecting quality of life as well as quantity of income.

These include sources of income because income earned through work promotes the self-reliance and self-respect of families. Equally, family consumption rather than income might be a better indicator of poverty levels.

Other factors that should be taken into account include the ability to save, the quality of a child’s parenting and family stability, because children from broken homes are twice as likely to suffer behavioural problems than those from intact families.

Christian Guy, Managing Director of the CSJ, said: “Poverty is not just about income, it is about family breakdown, educational failure, intergenerational worklessness, addiction, serious personal debt and poor mental health.

“It is absolutely vital that any serious measure of poverty reflects this. It is wholly unacceptable for such high and deep-seated levels of poverty to exist in the UK today. Such poverty devastates our communities and destroys the life chances of our children.”

A recent survey from America by CouponCabin.com has found that it is important for couples to have an honest discussion about finance and spending habits before they decide to get married.

Around 48% of divorced or separated adults surveyed said they wish they had spent more time discussing finances before getting married, and 29% of those currently married said the same. Over 50% of divorced or separated adults said that if they had to do it all over again, they would definitely or probably get a prenuptial agreement to protect their finances.

When asked what they thought were the most important topics for soon-to-be married couples to discuss regarding their finances, respondents mentioned the following:

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A recent study from America has found that many of the generation known as baby boomers (those currently aged 45 – 63) are facing a lonely old age.

According to the study, by Bowling Green State University’s National Center for Family and Marriage Research, one third of this age group is currently unmarried, which represents a 50% increase over people of the same age group in 1980. A third of these single baby boomers have never been married, and just 10% of them are widowed. The bulk of the remainder were married but are now divorced.

Researchers claim that marital status can have significant repercussions for people in their old age. Generally, people who are divorced will have greater financial resources and be healthier than those that are widowed or never married.

The group of baby boomers who never married are raising particular concern, because researchers claim that the chances of getting married for the first time in middle age are very low. This means that most of those boomers who have never married are likely to remain single for the rest of their lives.

“The shift in marital composition of the middle-aged suggests that researchers and policymakers can no longer focus on widowhood in later life and should pay attention to the vulnerabilities of the never-married and divorced as well,” said researcher Dr. I-Fen Lin.

Marriage and divorce, New Zealand style

Posted by on in Family Law

The number of marriages in New Zealand in 2011 has dropped to 20,231, the lowest amount since 2001. The number of divorces also saw a decline, down from 8,874 in 2010 to 8,551 in 2011, according to a new release from Statistics New Zealand.

"The decrease in divorces in 2011 is consistent with the recent trend of declining divorce numbers, which started around 2005," Population Statistics acting manager Deb Potter said.

Other statistics on marriages, civil unions, and divorces indicate that in the December 2011 year:

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Mothers in America

Posted by on in Family Law

To mark Mother's Day in America, the US Census Bureau published a series of facts about mothers.

The facts show that:

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Work stress can ruin relationships

Posted by on in Family Law

A recent study by researchers at Florida State University College of Business has found that the likelihood of separation or divorce in a relationship where both partners have stressful jobs is strongly influenced by the level of support the couple gives each, reports Florida State 24/7.

The study found that couples who had “high levels of stress but strong spousal support” gained a number of advantages over couples who had equal amounts of stress but less support. These advantages included being 50% more satisfied with their marriage and 25% more satisfied with the amount of time they were able to spend with their children.

The study also found that the types of support that were most effective varied between men and women. Women valued getting less housework related demands and more gestures of affection from their partners, whereas men valued help with errands and being made to feel appreciated.

Author of the study, Wayne Hochwarter, said that: “When stress enters any relationship, it has the potential to either bind people together or break them apart. Findings strongly confirm this with respect to job tension. What also became obvious was the critical role of communication and trust among spouses; without them, you have a foundation best described as crumbling, even in the best of circumstances.”

End your marriage at a 'Divorce Hotel'

Posted by on in Family Law

A company in the Netherlands has introduced the idea of a 'divorce hotel,' where a separating couple can come to stay for the weekend and organise all the details of their divorce, reports the Daily Mail.

Entrepreneur Jim Halfens uses different hotels around the country, and provides couples with all the professional support they need to agree the terms of their divorce in just two days, including legal advisers and mediators.

At the end of the weekend, all the couple needs to do is present their divorce agreement to a judge to be finalised.

According to the Daily Mail, the company is looking into offering a similar service in other countries. The USA and Germany are thought to be currently under consideration.

A resounding 92% of the America’s top divorce attorneys say that they have seen an increase in the number of cases using evidence taken from iPhones, Droids, and other smart phones during the past three years, according to a recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML).

In addition, 94% of the respondents have cited an overall rise in the use of text messages as evidence during the same time period.

“As smart phones and text messaging become main sources of communication during the course of each day, there will inevitably be more and more evidence that an estranged spouse can collect,” said Ken Altshuler, president of the AAML. “Text messages can be particularly powerful forms of evidence during a divorce case, because they are written records of someone’s thoughts, actions and intentions.”

Same-sex marriage ends in divorce

Posted by on in Family Law

The first same-sex couple to get married in Los Angeles are to get divorced, reports the Daily Mail.

Robin Tyler and Diane Olson were married for almost four years before filing for divorce. The two women had been together for 18 years, but had been unable to get married until 2008, when the ban on same-sex marriage was found to be unconstitutional by the California Supreme Court.

Following the court ruling, around 18,000 gay couples were married in California. Six months later, however, the state passed Proposition 8, which again banned same-sex marriage.

According to the Daily Mail, Proposition 8 has recently been overturned by the Federal Court of Appeals, making same-sex marriages once again legal in California.

Divorce hurts health more at younger ages

Posted by on in Family Law

Divorce at a younger age hurts people’s health more than divorce later in life, according to a new study by a Michigan State University sociologist.

Hui Liu said the findings, which appear in the research journal Social Science & Medicine, suggest older people have more coping skills to deal with the stress of divorce.

“It’s clear to me that we need more social and family support for the younger divorced groups,” said Liu, assistant professor of sociology. “This could include divorce counseling to help people handle the stress, or offering marital therapy or prevention programs to maintain marital satisfaction.”

Liu analysed the self-reported health of 1,282 participants in Americans’ Changing Lives, a long-term national survey. She measured the gap in health status between those who remained married during the 15-year study period and those who transitioned from marriage to divorce, at certain ages and among different birth cohorts, or generations.

Liu found the gap was wider at younger ages. For example, among people born in the 1950s, those who got divorced between the ages of 35 and 41 reported more health problems in relation to their continuously married counterparts than those who got divorced in the 44 to 50 age range.

Overall, the study found that those who transition from marriage to divorce experience a more rapid health decline than those who remain married. However, those who remained divorced during the entire study period showed no difference than those who remained married.

“This suggests it is not the status of being married or divorced, per se, that affects health, but instead is the process of transitioning from marriage to divorce that is stressful and hurts health,” Liu said.

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