Credit Crunch Divorces create Cash for local Business
Family lawyers have indicated that relationship break ups will increase because of financial pressures at home, but a recent survey carried out by Suzy Miller of ‘Certain Shops’ and ‘The Starting Over Show’, indicates that new singles will spend more on financial and well-being services than their married counterparts, creating income for businesses.
National family law organisation Resolution, are expecting an increase in the number of UK divorces as the credit crunch really starts to hit. With consumer research firm Claritas estimating that one in six UK marriages currently end in divorce (16.4 per cent), Andrew of Woolley of Resolution accredited family lawyers’ firm Woolley & Co Solicitors said: “In my opinion and experience, money problems just exacerbate a situation that is already there and certainly create an increase in stress—so a relationship under heavy strain may not cope with one extra burden, that of paying rising bills.”
At the same time, a new and ongoing survey by professional services directory `Certain Shops – Professionals Online’ supports anecdotal evidence that, following a relationship break up, people are more likely to buy new properties, update their wills and insurances, and spend money on themselves.
Results to date show that in the three years following the break up of a relationship:
26.5% rented a property more than once
36.7% bought a new property
51.0% went on a foreign holiday more than once
27.3% joined a gym
20.0% changed their appearance
35.3% changed their job
Financial advice and legal advice were considered ‘definitely important’ for people going through a relationship break up (53.1% and 50% respectively) with well-being advice also as a definite at 45.5%. The highest score for ‘definitely important’ was 82.8% for ‘people to listen to them sympathetically’.
Fatima became a divorcee in Sussex 6 years ago and she feels that her experience was and still is fairly typical. “Post divorce I was not in a position to buy my ex-partner out of the house, but I did re-mortgage as a way of refinancing. I needed to change my will and talk to financial advisors and reassess mine and my children’s financial stability. Despite limited funds I went on holiday with a friend and her children and concentrated on rebuilding my sense of self. That was really important.”
The evidence shows that the new singles represent a market force of their own and this is starting to be recognised as their expenditure benefits businesses on a local and national level. Sam Foster of Miss Fit Personal Training is a Brighton based fitness expert who is able to help individuals back on track through her business: “I work with many clients who have experienced a life changing situation like divorce and people realise that a big step to getting their confidence back is allowing time to focus on looking after themselves again. A way to kick start this is by improving their overall health through a balanced diet and exercising more, which I am delighted to be able help them with. “
This boost for businesses also explains why companies and individuals are eager to exhibit at the UK’s first ever divorce fair the ‘Starting Over Show’ [ www.startingovershow.co.uk ], which will be held in Brighton this Spring, on Sunday 15 March 2009 at the Barcelo Old Ship Hotel.
Photographer Scott Collier is one of the show’s exhibitors and also completed his own divorce last year and despite being a successful wedding photographer, Scott is a keen supporter of the show and the starting over ethos: “I will be at the show as a photographer who takes memorable pictures of children and their parents. Many of my recent clients have broken up from long term relationships and need good photos of themselves and their loved ones to boost their self esteem. I see many of my photos appearing on Facebook every day as people use them for their profiles. I think it’s great to see people picking themselves up and starting over, and I’m glad to be a part of that process.”
Sussex based Suzy Miller, who is Company Director of Certain Shops and Producer of The Starting Over Show instigated the survey and says the event has been designed to target people who have experienced a relationship break up, life crisis or significant change to their circumstances and who want to turn their life around. The show will bring together a wide range of services, products and organisations designed to help visitors move forward in their lives.
“With the credit crunch starting to hit, quality professional advice and a vision of a better future are more important than ever. That’s why we have counsellors and life coaches as well as lawyers attending the show, including a workshop with the best selling author and inspirational speaker Nick Williams. We want the show to demonstrate how to seek the right support and the benefits of taking positive action, rather than succumbing to a negative or resentful feelings or feeling constantly overwhelmed at the thought of ‘what do I do now?’ The show will give people access to all the resources that can help them to really start over, all under one roof.”
If you are interested in the event as an exhibitor or attending please contact Suzy Miller at suzy (at) startingovershow.co.uk
Similar divorce fairs are springing up in Europe – Switzerland has staged it’s first event this year. The Economist (June 7-13) says that the credit crunch “looks far from over”. But despite rising food and fuel prices, and consumer confidence falling, “actual spending has not yet weakened to the same extent.”
One in five of all men and women getting a divorce in 2005 had already been through a divorce. The Office for National Statistics said this figure had nearly doubled since 1981.
The Divorce rate in England and Wales (UK) fell in 2005 by 7.7 per cent, however, so did the marriage rate! The marriage rate fell in 2005 by 10.4 per cent.
Hove, East Sussex has the second-highest divorce rate in Britain, according to a Claritas survey, with a rate of 29 per cent.
Brighton, Littlehampton and St Leonards, East Sussex, all have scores of more than 21 per cent and were all in the top 50 for divorces.
The Claritas survey showed that the national average divorce rate was 16.4 per cent.
Six per cent of the population, or about 3.6 million Britons, are either gay or lesbian, the government’s first attempt to quantify the homosexual population has concluded.(2005)
Amsterdam - Gay Dutch couples appear to divorce at a rate of about one percent a year – the same rate as heterosexual married couples
Relationship splits may inspire women to start their own business. A study by The Enterprising Women project published 2007 showed 18 per cent of the women business owners studied between June 2006 – June 2007 were single mothers.
Sources and links:
Starting Over Show
The Starting Over Show will be held on 15 March 2009 in Brighton. It is the first UK event designed to help people bounce back from relationship break ups and life crises. It will be a safe haven in which soon-to-be singletons can take professional advice to build the confidence and skills they need to go it alone. The philosophy behind the show is useful information, honest communication, personal transformation.
Certain Shops aims to provide a reliable database of professional services that have all been personally recommended. The site covers a range of services from across the UK – from Legal and Accountancy to IT and Life Coaching.
Norwich Union 2003
Sam Foster, Miss Fit Personal Training
National Office for Statistics
Enterprising Women Community Statistics report