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Why does divorce happen in 2011? Cally Griffiths explains:

A recent report in the Guardian suggests that infidelity is no longer the top reason for couples separating.

As lawyers dealing with divorce on a daily basis the vast range of reasons for a divorce never fails to surprise but there is an increasing trend for divorces based on unreasonable behaviour becoming increasingly creative.

In order to obtain a divorce a couple must prove that their marriage has broken down irretrievably. There are different grounds on which to rely to prove such a breakdown; adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, 2 years separation if both parties consent to the divorce or 5 years separation if one party does not consent.

As the report in the Guardian has shown the reliance on adultery is diminishing. Whether that is due to the celebrity acceptance of extra-marital affairs or other reasons within society is not clear.

What is clear is that couples seeking to divorce are now citing a wide variety of reasons for doing so. Such reasons range from inappropriate friendships and postings on the ever present Facebook to, rather bizarrely, a husband who was addicted to household chores and a wife who would not stop baking cakes! A story that sums up the strange nature that these proceedings can take was reported in the Xinmin Evening News in China. A woman took her pet parrot to the local solicitor’s office in the hope it would assist in her divorce case against her husband. The woman had been away from the home for over a month and returned to find the parrot repeating the phrases "divorce" "be patient" and "I love you".

Studies have also shown that if a couples close friends go through divorce it increases the chances of a couple splitting due to "divorce clustering".


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