Financial pressures not to blame for marriage breakdowns, says study

A new study has dismissed the notion that financial hard times lead to a rise in divorce rates. In fact, the research suggests the figures have been falling since the beginning of the economic downturn in 2008.

Recession not to blame for marriage breakdowns

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The study, by the Marriage Foundation, claims financial pressures are not to blame for marriage breakups - in fact, it is the early years of marriage that prove the most testing.

According to the research, couples are sticking together despite low incomes and rising inflation, and divorce rates have been steadily falling since 2008 to reach a number close to a 20-year low.

Researcher Harry Benson told the Daily Mail: "For every year since the 1970s, and across every duration of marriage, from newlyweds through to silver surfers, divorce rates have always stayed within plus or minus 10 per cent of the previous year's figure.

"There is no evidence whatsoever to link either economic growth or stock market performance with changes in divorce rates."

The Marriage Foundation cited the figures from 1991, another recession-hit period, as an example. In that particular year, divorce rates among couples who had been married for 20 years fell by two per cent.

By contrast, the number of breakups among those that got hitched just one year earlier rose by 12 per cent.

Mr Benson explained: "If the divorce were linked to the economy, those figures would have headed in the same direction."

Those with the highest rate of divorce are couples aged between 25 and 29, and it seems those who cohabited before tying the knot are most at risk of a breakup.

What do you think? Are financial pressures likely to cause a breakup, or push couples closer together? Leave your comments below...