Grant Thornton accountants surveyed 85 of Britain’s leading family law firms as part of its 10th annual matrimonial study.

More than three quarters of family lawyers say that unhappy couples have delayed the start of divorce proceedings during the recession. Nearly half of the firms surveyed said that the recession had caused a decrease in divorces.

The survey also found that people in their forties are the ones most likely to seek a way out of their marriage. 86% of family lawyers said that the most common age of their divorcing clients was 40 to 49 and 38% said they had seen an increase in the divorcing parties’ age.

This year also showed the highest proportion of long marriages ending in divorce, with 14% of lawyers saying that the majority of divorces they handled were from marriages over 20 years.

Only 9% of family lawyers said they had no cases of claims of either concealed or missing assets compared to 20% in 2012 and 2011.

The report also highlights the impact of cuts in public funding through Legal Aid for family proceedings – particularly the increasing numbers of divorcees representing themselves.

The report is available here:

In other recent news reports on family matters:

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“What do we know about non-resident fathers?”, research conducted by NatCen Social Research, the University of East Anglia and Thomas Coram Research Unit funded by ESRC,  found that 5% of fathers in the UK, around one million men, have dependent non-resident children