‘When will they ever learn?,’ you think to yourself as news of another celebrity marriage hitting the rocks ends up splashed across the tabloids. The most recent high-profile split involves Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin. As sure as eggs is eggs though, it won’t be long before they are knocked off the front pages by another high-profile split – or ‘uncoupling’, as Paltrow put it on breaking the news on her Lifestyle blog.
But statistics reveal that your average Joe or Joanna are fast losing the moral high ground, with the divorce rate on the increase again – albeit by just 0.5% from 2011 to 2012, according to recently released figures by the Office for National Statistics. Possibly one of the reasons why celebrity couples split so easily is because they know they can afford to stand on their own two feet, And this seems to apply to the general public too, with the rise in the number of divorces taking place in England and Wales coinciding with the UK coming out of the recession.
As house prices are starting to climb again, couples trapped in unhappy unions may decide to finally call it quits because it’s a more profitable time to split assets. The growing independence and empowerment of women, who are statistically far more likely to divorce, is probably another contributory factor.
The ease with which you can get a divorce must surely help fuel the increase too. Nowadays you can even book yourself into the so-called Divorce Hotel to nip the nuptials in the bud before a mattress spring is sprung. The ultimate ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ is in the Netherlands and offers weekend divorce breaks, in the most literal sense of the word.
Weekend hotel breaks (ups) are not the only way to hitch then ditch in a split second. This divorce lawyers’ article on “quickie divorces” talks about the availability of an online £65 separation package that takes only a matter of weeks to be processed if circumstances permit. Naturally, the more complicated the case the longer it will take for a divorce to go through and the higher the legal costs will be. The website quickie-divorce.com is now in its sixth year of trading and incredibly was used by 15,000 people in 2013. Divorcing couples should also remember that they have to budget for the unavoidable £385 court fees on top of whatever they pay to online sites.