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Divorce January

Although not wanting to put a damper on a fantastic Christmas, it’s worth noting that Divorce Day is the first working Monday of the New Year. This year saw the biggest reforms to our divorce laws in 50 years. Ignoring blaming spouses, do you someone divorcing in 2023?


All change

  • Back in 2020, 42% of married couples (103,592) got divorced. This included 1,154 same-sex couples.
  • Almost half of divorces happen in the first 10-12 years of marriage, with the highest year being between the 4th and 8th anniversary.
  • Divorce rates are higher among couples in their 20s, however the average age of divorce is 45 for men and 42 for women.
  • 62% of divorce petitions were by women.

Going forward the law states that the sole ground for divorce will be that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. Couples will not provide reasons as to why or how that breakdown has happened – a huge change.

Be aware

The new law removes blame game and recognise that couples should be able to decide for themselves that their marriage is over, but:

  1. It may take longer to get divorced. There is a 20-week period from petition stage to decree nisi, allowing couples to access counselling or mediation.
  2. You can jointly apply for a divorce to end the marriage. This makes things equal and reflects a mutual decision.
  3. It’s no longer possible to contest a divorce, so a spouse cannot be forced to remain in a failed marriage.
  4. You can get divorced online, so making it easier for many people to end a marriage.
  5. It is likely to take at least 6-months to conclude. There’s no quickie divorce.

Christmas is a family time with celebrations aimed at children and present giving. Before the new divorce law, spouses had to be formally separated for 2-years and cite a reason (like adultery or unreasonable behaviour). This caused animosity between partners, as one of them had to be the bad guy. A statement saying the marriage has broken down irretrievably is a better outcome for couples and their children.

ChildMax continues to ensure your salary and pays your take home salary while you’re on 12 months’ unpaid leave, caring for a sick child. It starts from £49.50 or for easy budgeting an initial payment of £8.25 followed by 11 monthly payments of £3.75.

Visit at or call the UK call centre 0333 323 0098 for more information.



Date: 27 December 2022 by Max Robinson