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1 July 2013

Marriage Foundation's new report says recession 'does not lead to more break ups'

Marriages can ride out the recession and couples stick together despite the strains of economic hard times, a research report by the Marriage Foundation, as reported in the Daily Mail, says.

It said that the long-cherished theory that the fate of marriages is decided by the difficulties of handling money and dealing with the burden of mortgages and debt is not borne out by the real evidence.

Instead, the study by the Marriage Foundation said, the real danger to marriages lies in the early years after the wedding, with particular pitfalls for couples who lived together as cohabitees before they married.

The report said that, contrary to the views of lawyers, relationship counsellors and the Office for National Statistics, recession acts neither to bind couples together in adversity nor to prise them apart through intolerable financial pressure.

Researcher Harry Benson said: ‘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 - a group headed by High Court family law judge Sir Paul Coleridge - found that at the depths of the early 1990s recession, in 1991, divorce rates for couples who had been married for 20 years fell by two per cent.

But for those whose marriages had lasted just one year longer they rose by 12 per cent.

Read more on this story here.