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Recession prompts couples to delay divorce settlement
Tue 05 Jan 2010
Many estranged couples are putting off reaching a final divorce settlement because of the economic downturn, according to a new study.
Research by Unbiased.co.uk found that in 2009, almost half of family law solicitors in the UK saw their clients delay finalising their financial affairs.
This was attributed mainly to the recession, as couples were said to be waiting for an economic recovery to lift the value of their assets.
Meanwhile, two-fifths of legal professionals revealed that the time it has taken to reach a divorce settlement has gone up in the last year.
Karen Barrett, chief executive of Unbiased.co.uk, warned against delaying and encouraged estranged couples to make sure they seek professional advice.
She said getting a divorce can be stressful enough without prolonging the time it takes to reach a settlement.
Ms Barrett insisted that a family solicitor would be able to help people through the divorce process and ensure both parties get what they are entitled to receive.
Carol Ellinas, a partner at Winckworth Sherwood, added: "In my experience very few people decide to delay finalising matters for purely economic reasons unless there is an anticipated bonus or share options are about to mature.
"If one party is keen to move matters on then with the right legal advice they can do so.
"If some of the couples' assets are high risk then this will be factored into any settlement."
This comes after support service Relate said it is expecting to see an increase in divorce enquiries this month.