Saturday, September 1, 2007

Incentives sustaining marriages

So it appears that one of the last bastions of human relationship has fallen at the altar of mammon. There is an article in the Guardian dated 31.08.2007 "Love and Divorce", which quotes a recent report of the British Office for National Statistics, which finds divorce rates across England and Wales steadily declining. The conservatives will surely seize on this as conclusive proof of strengthening familial and social bonds. But a more probable reason for the decline, claims the article, appears to be financial concerns. It quotes Alex Carruthers, of City law firm Hughes Fowler Carruthers, as saying: "A lot of men whose marriages are in a bad patch come to us and say they have seen the headline-grabbing cases. They ask what those cases would mean for them if they divorce and when they get the bad news, they generally say 'OK, I'll put it on hold'."

The article also says, "Previously a wife at home was not expected to win an equal portion of her working husband's assets, but since high-profile rulings in 2000, both the court of appeal and House of Lords have fashioned the starting point at 50:50 for both the homemaker and the breadwinner." Another example of the power of incentives!

1 comment:

gaddeswarup said...

Chris Dillow of 'Stumbling and Mumbling' thinks that a contributing reason may be that marriage rates are falling too.