Monday, September 18, 2006

Gentlemen (and women) prefer rottweilers

ASB LawMentioned in this month's Family Law, local (to me) firm ASB Law have carried out a nationwide internet survey asking the public what it thinks of divorce. The survey had some 2,466 respondents split evenly between the sexes, drawn from all age groups and asset categories, and representing all domestic circumstances (married, single, divorced, separated, living/not living with partner).

The findings of the survey are interesting. Some 80% of all respondents thought that assets should be split 50-50 or that settlements should recognise the contribution of a stay-at-home parent, although 33% also thought that short marriages should result in small payouts. A huge 90% thought that poor conduct should either definitely be taken into consideration or possibly, depending on the circumstances (suggesting that current law is out of touch with most people's views) and 25% considered pre-nuptial agreements to be a waste of time because they are currently not enforceable in UK divorce proceedings. On the value of marriage 67% of all respondents agreed with the statement that ‘marriage reinforces your commitment’, although only 30% of those aged between 16-24 said they believed in the value of marriage. More worryingly, when asked which of 10 well-known figures would they want to be their divorce lawyer, the clear winner, with more than a quarter of the vote, was Sir Alan Sugar! As ASB say, when it comes to choosing a divorce lawyer "it appears that the UK public (both sexes and all ages) favours overwhelmingly the rottweiler/Grand Inquisitor approach". So much for the principles of Resolution and the Family Law Protocol...

Full results of the survey can be found on the ASB Law website, here.

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