Has Brexit driven an increase in divorces?
Nigel Shepherd, chair of family law association Resolution, has recently commented that Brexit is causing some couples to divorce.
Brexit has been, of course, a hugely divisive issue in the UK. Where couples have voted on opposite sides it appears it may have caused division in marriages and is being cited by some as a reason their marriage has broken down. As someone whose husband voted the opposite way to me, I can relate to this though In my case it has not caused us to consider divorce.
One of the facts which can be cited to obtain a divorce is behaviour which one party has found unreasonable and intolerable to live with. The person who instigates the divorce proceedings is called the Petitioner. The support for, or failure to support, Brexit, as the case may be, could be a personality clash and source of arguments, and an example of behaviour which the Petitioner finds unreasonable. The test is subjective, looking at what the particular Petitioner in question personally finds unreasonable, so it would not matter if the judge checking the petition had voted the other way!
Mr Shepherd said:
"I suspect that was unlikely to be the sole reason [for divorce] but we have heard of cases from a number of our members. It was a divisive campaign. It pushed some couples [over the edge]. It was the last straw that made them think "we are really incompatible".
It will be interesting to see if a similar trend now occurs after the presidential election in the USA. That too has been hugely divisive for the country, but hopefully not for the married couples who live there.
If you are considering divorce or have any questions contact a member of our Family Law team.