Divorce numbers on the rise to pre-recession levels as more couples are splitting

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Divorce numbers on the rise to pre-recession levels as more couples are splitting
9:45 Thursday 14th of September 2017

A loosening of financial restraints on couples in Ireland has been one of the main factors behind a recent rise in the number of divorces in the country, with the figures rising to levels that surpass the pre-recession era.

The economic crash resulted in many couples opting not to formalise their breakups due to the cost of divorce, along with other factors such as negative equity, mortgage problems, unemployment and emigration.

Today's Irish Independent shows that the highest number of divorces in Ireland was recorded in 2015, as the 4,314 couples surpassed the previous high of 4,257. The lowest number in recent years was during the depths of the recession in 2011 when just 3,358 divorce proceedings were initiated. Last year there were 4,179 divorces initiated.

"People simply couldn't afford to get divorced," said Keith Walsh, chairman of the society's family law committee, in today's Irish Independent.

"People have been living together in the same house, possibly even in two separate beds in the same bedroom, because they're in a three-bed semi-D and there's two or three kids and they can't move into the kids' room," he said. In other cases, the husband or wife would sleep in the attic.

"This was widespread for a few years. It has only tailed off in the last two or three years," he said.

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