Benefits regime 'leads to more divorces'

The introduction of the Working Families Tax Credit in 1999 has led to an increase in divorces among families on lower incomes, researchers have suggested.

A team from the University of Essex came to the conclusion after carrying out a study of 3,235 couples who were tracked by the British Household Panel Survey since 1991.

The analysis, conducted on behalf of the Royal Economic Society, found that there was a two per cent higher divorce rate among women with children from this group than those without, with the period since the tax credits were introduced seeing a 160 per cent rise in marriage failure rates.

It said that this trend could be attributed to the fact that the new credits made such women better off financially as single mothers following a divorce.

Those facing divorce may seek to save the cost of lawyers through using a DIY divorce kit to reach their own settlement.

During the past five years, the age group with the highest divorce rate has been the upper 20s for both genders.

Written by Christopher Evans

Published on: March 3, 2009

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