It might be hard for some younger people to imagine, but even just a few short decades ago, in the 1960s and 70s, divorce was still seen as a huge social stigma. Many of us may still remember the time when parents “stayed together for the kids” and the days when almost all the kids in the classroom had both their married parents living at home with them.
Now, children grow up with peers who have very mixed and diverse families; they are likely to have friends living with single parents, friends with two mums, or two dads, and some will have step parents and step siblings at home and they will go to stay with the absent biological parent at the weekends.
Fortunately, these children will not feel the stigma that children of divorced parents in the 40s, 50s and before would have felt and the whole subject of marital breakdown has definitely lost its “taboo” status of social unacceptability.
As divorce solicitors in Brighton and London we don’t really need research to tell us that attitudes to relationship breakdown have changed and yet a survey published to coincide with the DVD release of British film “I Give it a Year” have revealed that almost two thirds of the respondents to the poll no longer think there is a stigma attached to dissolving a marriage.
The YouGov survey of 2,000 people found that only four per cent of those polled strongly agreed that divorce is a social taboo, while 62 per cent do not think of divorce as a social taboo at all.
It was also revealed that younger people, in the 25 to 34 age group, were those most likely to agree that there is a social stigma in marriage breakdown, and this compares starkly with the statistic that, at the time of the survey, they were in the adult age group least likely to be married.
Relate counsellor Christine Northam said that experts believe the generational difference in attitude could be as a result of seeing their own parents’ divorce and holding a wish not “to repeat the same mistakes”. Ms Northam added that she saw many couples who had reached a difficult point in their relationship, but were reluctant to rush to the divorce solicitor’s office, and so were seeking help to repair the relationship. However, she said that there were still “vast numbers of couples who give up on marriage too quickly before seeking professional help”.
If in doubt, seek professional advice
Whether you feel the need to try to resolve your relationship differences via counselling or you are certain that the only way forward for you is to seek a divorce in UK family law, it is always advisable to get the best advice you can.
Healys divorce solicitors in Brighton and London are here to help with all aspects of marriage and civil-partnership dissolution, including completion of or response to the divorce petition, making or defending a financial claim for a divorce financial settlement and all legal considerations arising from relationship breakdown.
To speak to one of our family lawyers today, please call our Brighton or London offices, so that we can advise you of your best course of action.