Job Loss, Divorce and Family Disputes

02 JUN 2009

Pascoe Pleasence and Nigel J Balmer, Legal Services Research Centre, London, and Faculty of Laws, University College London

As the UK's sixth major recession since 1920 deepens, the impact of the economic downturn on family stability and the prevalence of family disputes are of increasing concern. The redundancy rate reported through the Labour Force Survey in the 3 months to January 2009 was 10.5 per 1,000 employees, which equates to more than 250,000 redundancies per quarter (Office for National Statistics, Labour Market Statistics: February 2009). The rate is increasing. The unemployment rate, which stood at 6.5% for the 3 months to January 2009 is set to increase to over 8% (Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs, Interim Forecast: January 2009) over 2009.

In this article the author sets out initial findings from the English and Welsh Civil and Social Justice Survey (2006-2009) that confirm that job loss is associated with a substantial increase in divorce and disputes ancillary to relationship breakdown. However, paths of causation are unclear, and we are not able to confirm to what extent the recession will impact on family stability.

To read the rest of this article, see June [2009] Family Law journal.

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