What Are The Common Reasons For Family Breakdown And Divorce?

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Sarah Whitelegge - Senior Associate

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What Are The Common Reasons For Family Breakdown And Divorce

There are all sorts of reasons why a marriage or a relationship can break down, and it is important that you obtain legal advice at an early stage if you are contemplating a divorce, to obtain advice on your finances, or to agree on arrangements for the children.

The divorce rate in the United Kingdom is currently estimated at 42%. Common reasons for divorce and relationship breakdown include:

  • Infidelity or an extramarital affair
  • Financial difficulties or issues with spending habits
  • Abuse in the relationship, which can include physical, emotional, verbal, and financial abuse
  • Clashing expectations and goals
  • Growing apart

Every relationship is different, and it is a personal decision whether you wish to end a marriage.

Legal Advice

In any situation where a marriage has broken down, it is important to obtain legal advice at an early stage to best protect your position. Our family team understand that going through a divorce can be an emotional, stressful and life-changing experience.

The divorce process has been simplified, and with the introduction of no-fault divorce, it is now possible to apply for a divorce in England and Wales by providing a simple statement of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. It is no longer a requirement to cite examples of the behaviours which have caused the marriage to break down or to provide any details of adultery. You do not need your spouse’s consent to apply for a divorce.

The financial outcome of a divorce is often one of the biggest concerns when taking the decision to divorce. It is important to obtain advice on your finances early on, including any immediate financial needs. Financial claims are not automatically terminated even after a final divorce order is obtained, and it is important to obtain legal advice that is tailored to your own circumstances to ensure a financial agreement can be reached concurrently.

Separated couples should try to agree on arrangements for contact with the children early on. There may also be specific issues to agree on, such as what school a child will attend, whether a child receives a particular medical treatment or whether a child can permanently relocate if one of the parents wishes to move away on separation. Parties should consider if they can draw up a Parenting Plan and should consider attending mediation if struggling to reach an agreement. The Family Courts promote children having a relationship with both their parents after separation, where it is safe to do so. If the child arrangements cannot be agreed upon outside of court, we can help you to navigate the arrangements for your children after separation and guide you through the court process if required. 

As members of Resolution, we are committed to following a non-confrontational approach to resolving family issues in a manner that considers the needs of the whole family and the best interests of the children.

Here to help

If you would like any further information regarding financial needs on divorce or separation, please contact a member of our Family Law Solicitors below.   

What To Think About Before A Divorce

Contact Our Family Team

If you need legal advice concerning a family breakdown or divorce, our family law solicitors are happy to help. Please call our Family Team on:


Sarah Whitelegge's profile picture

Sarah Whitelegge

Senior Associate

Sarah has over 17 years of experience acting as a Family solicitor. Sarah has specialist expertise in complex children matters and has experience of dealing with applications for child arrangement orders, prohibited steps orders, and special guardianship orders.

About Sarah Whitelegge >