Conducted by Censuswide, the research polled a total of 1,000 divorced and married people to determine which factors affect the timing of a divorce.
When thinking about divorce, 74% of respondents said that they had, or would have financial concerns and two in five stated that dividing their assets was, or would be, the biggest financial worry.
One in six said that financial difficulties such as unemployment had, or would have, an impact on when they divorced, whereas only one in eight stated that the timing was, or would be, affected by family holidays, including Christmas.
A potential windfall such as a bonus or inheritance also influences a person’s decision to divorce, with one in 10 saying that this would make them more likely to initiate a divorce.
In addition, the research revealed that these trends are particularly prevalent among the younger generation. One in three 25-34 year olds said that the timing of their divorce was, or would be, affected by financial difficulties and one in five said that they would be more likely to instruct divorce lawyers in light of a likely financial gain
Eileen Macqueen, a divorce expert at Devonshires Solicitors, which commissioned the research, said: “Although it has been generally accepted that family occasions such as Christmas have traditionally had the biggest impact on the timing of a divorce, financial concerns are increasingly driving people’s decisions. Financial considerations could therefore overtake the ‘divorce day’ trend.
“People are starting to think more strategically about when they should divorce, particularly following – or ahead of – a change in their financial circumstances. Money worries can mean that some people delay initiating divorce proceedings, while a likely financial windfall often prompts people to instruct lawyers more quickly.
“People need to be aware however, that the Court takes a wide view of the parties’ finances – and needs – and how these change over a long period of time. Attempts to strategically time a divorce to hide wealth are often exposed. Indeed, it can be more disadvantageous to delay initiating legal proceedings following a separation. Legal advice will assist with understanding the ways in which financial changes are likely to effect a settlement and should be sought at an early stage.”