Divorce in Scotland at a 30-year low


Divorce attorneys in Pasadena certainly don't have the free time that their Scottish counterparts do. According to a new study, divorce rates in the kilted country are the lowest in almost 30 years.

New statistics show that there were only a scant 10,173 divorces in 2009 thru 2010. That's 10 percent fewer than the previous year and the lowest divorce rate since 1981. Like in the United States, the economic downturn is attributed for the one of the reasons Scottish couples are staying together.

"It's an enormous financial burden for a couple to break up in terms of one partner moving out and having to find somewhere else to live and perhaps being forced to sell a property for less than they paid, given the fall in property prices in some areas," says Stuart Valentine of Relationships Scotland.

The statistics also were broken down for the first time ever by what type of wedding Scots have and how that plays into the likelihood of staying together. According to the numbers, Catholic marriages are the strongest and longest lasting. Catholic unions lasted an average of 20 years before the couples divorced, about four years more than the national average. New marriages also dropped in Scotland. The early 1980s saw roughly 38,00 new marriages; in contrast, there were only 27,500 last year.

Great numbers aside, legal experts say there is no real reason to believe Scottish marriages are stronger now than they were 30 years ago.

"It could just be a statistical anomaly where the sharp decline in marriages has failed to filter through to the divorce statistics," says Stephen Brand, a family law and litigation expert in Scotland.