Annual divorce statistics normally show year-on-year decreases as fewer people marry, however this year could see an exception...
"It wouldn’t surprise me if there were a slight blip upwards in recent months because of anxiety about the economy," Vardag explains.
"But broadly I think that divorce stats will continue to go down unless the law changes to give co-habitants more rights or courts start enforcing pre-nuptial agreements properly, because marriage relative to co-habitation is simply an unattractive option."
Vardag says some former couples are now returning to court to try to get their awards reassessed.
"Some divorcees are appealing to get awards reduced or indeed capitalised to take account of settlement payouts where they don’t think the money is going to be forthcoming in the future," she explains.
"You might have the husband going back to get his maintenance reduced but at the same time the wife is saying: 'I don’t have any confidence this maintenance is going to be payable. In the future I want it capitalised, or rolled up into a lump sum, and I want to have his settlement payout to achieve that'."
Vardag of Strand-based Ayesha Vardag Solicitors (www.ayeshavardag.com) believes all couples should sign a prenuptial agreement before tying the knot, as a matter of course.
Her firm has this year experienced a rise in enquiries from City workers and their spouses, concerned about their partners’ job security and bonuses.
The Office of National Statistics will publish the Annual Divorces Statistics 2007 at 09.30 on 29 August on their website (www.statistics.gov.uk).
Notes to Editors:
Ayesha Vardag graduated from Cambridge University with Honours in Law and from Brussels with a Master’s in European Law.
Her firm, Ayesha Vardag Solicitors, works regularly with the leading figures at the family law Bar on some of the biggest cases in the English courts.
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