Grant Thornton matrimonial survey: Choose your headline...

Grant Thornton's eighth annual matrimonial survey has been published. Entitled For richer, for poorer and with the sub-heading What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is out of sight (more of which in a moment), the survey "looks at the divorce arena in detail as well as the key issues in the forefront of the minds of family solicitors". The survey canvassed the opinions of 101 of the UK’s 'leading family lawyers' based on their client work in the 2010 calendar year.

The report covers six areas:
  • The divorce debate - Including the top three areas in which respondents would like to see a change in legislation (protection for cohabiting couples comes top).

  • Reasons for divorce - Growing apart/falling out of love replaces extra-marital affairs as the top reason.

  • Divorce and the state of the economy - The impact of the recession on financial settlements (82% of respondents thought that people had delayed divorce proceedings due to the recession).

  • Concealment of assets - Including that 61% of respondents were concerned that the decision in Imerman makes it more likely that assets will not be disclosed.

  • Mediation and collaborative law - Including concerns "that mediation should be about agreement between the parties making it the most appropriate option and not a compulsion through a statutory requirement".

  • Cohabitation and pre-marital agreements - I'm not quite sure of the connection between these two, but the section tells us, for example, that 89% of respondents expected or had already seen a rise in 'pre-nuptial advisory work'.

The newspapers are divided as to the best headline to take from the survey. The Telegraph goes with: 'Fewer couples think an affair is a reason to divorce', the Financial Times with: 'Warning on concealed assets in divorces', the Daily Mail with: 'A third of husbands 'hiding assets in divorce battles' thanks to human rights laws' (the DM continues its policy of blaming all the country's ills on those awful people in Strasbourg) and the Belfast Telegraph with: 'Unwed couples 'do not deserve' rights married have: poll'.

I guess it all depends on your point of view...


  1. Depressing how this sort of thing is treated so carelessly...the Telegraph headline totally misses the point.


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