Although the number of divorces has been steadily falling across England and Wales, some London boroughs record a much higher divorce rate than the national average, which currently stands at 33.3%. It certainly appears that married life in some parts of the capital doesn’t bode as well as it does for those in other parts of England and Wales. With the new legislation due to come into effect in April, making it easier for couples to obtain a ‘no fault divorce’, we looked at where, in particular, the highest divorce rates in London are.
With a population of nearly 227,000, the diverse North-East London borough of Waltham Forest finds itself in the unfortunate position of being at the top of the list.
Home to the notable E17 postcode, Roman remains and Leyton Orient football club, this will probably be an accolade the borough would rather not have laid claim to, with a divorce rate that is a significant 182% higher than the national average.
At the heart of the traditional East End, the historic borough of Tower Hamlets is home to Brick Lane, one of the great curry capitals. Although often considered to be one of the most deprived areas, Tower Hamlets has recently emerged as one of the most up and coming boroughs in London and is renowned for its diversity and vibrancy. Unfortunately, it has also found itself in the top three London boroughs for its comparatively high divorce rate, which is a staggering 101% higher than the national average.
Just across the river from Tower Hamlets, the South London borough of Southwark is considered quite a desirable area to live, given its relatively close proximity to the City of London. Home to The Shard, the Tate Modern and the Globe theatre, it is steeped in the history of the arts, however, the divorce rate here is 93% above the national average, making it the third-highest in London and the highest of all the South London boroughs.
With its more moderate house prices in comparison with the rest of London and its transport links, the South London borough of Croydon is a popular commuter area. This is especially true of the leafier areas to the south of the principal town. Famous for being the birthplace of Charlie Chaplin and Charles Dickens, it also has unenviably achieved the fourth-highest divorce rate amongst the capital’s boroughs, 81% higher than the national average.
West London Divorce
The highest placed West London borough on the list was Harrow in 5th position. It recorded a divorce rate 76% higher than average.
Overall, most of the West London boroughs seemed to fare better, with Richmond upon Thames recording a rate 14% lower than the England and Wales average. This was the second-lowest in the whole of London after Westminster.
Law and Order
The imminent change in the law will allow married couples to issue divorce proceedings without assigning blame, potentially freeing up fees typically spent on divorces and allowing for quicker and easier proceedings. Critics have said the new law could make the division of assets more challenging, and with speed being the new focus, pensions could be undervalued or not shared effectively. It remains to be seen what the ultimate impact of the impending Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 on April 6th will be. Only time will tell whether the easing of the ability to obtain a ‘no-fault divorce’ will affect the future order of London’s divorce hotspots.