Divorce to rise as property prices fall

New research has suggested that the continuing fall in property prices will prompt a rash of divorces as couples feel the additional financial strain.

The academic study by Essex University’s Institute for Social and Economic Research based its findings upon household questionnaires and property market trends. It found that a 10 per cent fall in house prices produces a 5 per cent increase in separation.

The study claims that money worries and concerns over falling into negative equity – when a homeowner’s mortgage is worth more than the property – puts strain on a relationship.

The institute reports that such stress is greater upon young couples with more debt and children at home.

“Although economic woes inevitably place a strain on relationships, statistics also suggest that divroce rates may fall,” says divorce solicitor Naim Qureshi of London firm Child & Child.

“There is often insufficient equity to sell and enable couples to go their separate way. When money is tight it is even more difficult - and in some cases impossible - to fund two households. Essentially we are in a situation where some couples just cannot afford to divorce.”

Useful links

Using a divorce solicitor

Divorce advice: the alternatives to divorce proceedings

Find a lawyer >>

Use our free and confidential Matching Service to compare law firms and prices