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28 November 2012

Couples in the ‘struggling middle’ can't afford to divorce and move on


Stuck in the 'struggling middle', more ex-partners are unable to take on the burden of running two homes - and The Guardian reports that counsellors warn that the problem is creeping up the income ladder.

Middle-income couples, recently identified by the Conservatives as the ‘struggling middle’ are increasingly unable to afford to separate when their relationships end, according to a new study.

Almost half the counsellors surveyed at Relate, the charity that specialises in relationship counselling, say an increasing proportion of the 150,000 clients they see each year are being forced to remain living together despite having decided to split up. Couples with children are more likely to find themselves trapped than those without, but both groups are increasingly finding it impossible to bear the cost of setting up different homes.

"When we talk about Relate's clients, we are not talking about people on low incomes. We're talking about people in employment, on average to above-average incomes," said Ruth Sutherland, the charity's chief executive.

Sutherland said the charity, which began life as the Marriage Guidance Council 75 years ago, had never seen this demographic of clients struggling with their finances to such an extent that moving into two homes and getting on with their lives was an impossibility.

Read the full story in The Guardian here.