Wednesday 22 November 2017

Recession forcing unhappy couples to stay together, says family lawyer

Colin Gleeson

THE recession has forced a growing number of unhappy couples to live together, according to a top family lawyer.

Job losses, pay cuts and the property crash meant many couples simply could not afford to lead independent lives, said Eugene Davy.

The number of people seeking to instigate divorce proceedings fell significantly last year, the annual Courts Service report revealed.

A total of 3,716 divorce proceedings came before the courts last year -- a 13pc decrease on 2008. The number of applications for judicial separation dropped 19pc to 1,627.

Mr Davy, a partner in Hayes Solicitors, who specialises in family law, told the Irish Independent last night that the figures showed a growing number of unhappy couples were staying together because they could not afford to split.

"Generally speaking, the gateway to a separation is the sale of the family home," he said. "Or alternatively, one spouse gets an increased mortgage to buy out the other.

"Both of those options are no longer there because there is no market to sell the home. On top of that, lending institutions are not giving out loans because of the credit crunch. That is a huge factor.

"In my work, I see that people are deciding to stay together because the consequences of separating are too drastic because it may mean one, or both, of the spouses and their children may have to live in rented accommodation. That is the main explanation," he added.

Those seeking annulments last year fell by 10pc to 55. Orders granted under domestic violence legislation decreased by 6pc and the number of barring orders fell by 12pc.

For the first time, there was a greater number of applications by common-law partners for interim barring orders than those by spouses.

Applications for interim barring orders dropped by 12pc while those seeking barring orders fell by 8pc.

Irish Independent

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