More men are filing for divorce than ever before, according to a new report published by The Telegraph. It follows news that the proportion of males initiating divorce has risen to 39 per cent.
This is compared to the early 1990s, when the proportion was just 27 per cent.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which published the figures, the most common grounds for divorce over the last year have been “unreasonable behaviour” – a term commonly, but not always, associated with extramarital affairs.
It correlates with news that infidelity is on the rise among women, which could contribute to the rising number of males asking for divorce.
Experts also suggest that men are leaving their partners “to get richer”. A recent study, published by the University of Exeter, found that women and children are hit “by far” the hardest after relationships break down.
Professor Mike Brewer, the study’s lead author, added: “Women continue to see living standards fall by more after separation than men, especially when children are involved, but even for couples with no children.
“Mothers and children from high-income families see especially large drops in living standards, because the loss of the man’s earnings is in no way compensated for by higher income from alimony, child maintenance, benefits and tax credits, and having fewer mouths to feed.”
Other studies point to the fact that it is now easier for men to divorce, as law firms and the courts offer more support to men in abusive or unreasonable relationships.
Meanwhile, the figures also show that the rate of divorce rose by 5.8 per cent last year – the first increase since 2010.
Of the 106,959 total divorces in 2016, the average age of divorcees rose to 46 for men and 44 for women, while the average duration of marriages ending in divorce was 12 years.