Sharp rise in the number of divorces across Dungannon

Local divorces have risen as the economy rebounds
Local divorces have risen as the economy rebounds

Married couples may promise to stick together for better or worse, but last year the Dungannon District experienced one of its biggest ever divorce rate rises, just as the economy is beginning to rebound.

More than two local couples a week cut their losses and ran from wedlock last year, according to the latest registrar’s report from the Northern Ireland Stastistical Research Agency.

In all, there were 114 divorces registered in the Dungannon area in 2013, a huge rise of 36 percent on the previous year’s total of 84.

There had been a general downward trend in the number of divorces in the Dungannon area since a high of 113 in 2007 at the height of the property boom.

Last year’s rise mirrored a hike in divorces across the rest of the UK with experts blaming a delayed reaction to the recession.

A report from the Office for National Statistics said: “Recent trends could be consistent with the theory that recession is associated with an increased risk of divorce, but with a delayed impact.

A senior divorce lawyer also claimed the improving economic situation may have encouraged divorce, with many couples having postponed their marriage break up until they could afford it.

Vicki McLynn, partner at UK law firm Pannone said: “The fact that there has been a slight increase could be attributed to couples believing that they can finally afford to divorce now the recession appears to be coming an end.

“Commonly, they feel that in a healthier economy, they may be more likely to find jobs and financial security to sustain them after they separate.”

Across Northern Ireland, the number of divorces last year - 2,403 - was just four more than the previous year. NISRA said this figure was comparable to the average over the last two decades “and notably lower than the peak of 2,913 divorces recorded in 2007”.