One-Tenth of Marriages Ended By 'Convenience of Vice' 

23 December 2015 

Almost 10 per cent of marriages end because husbands and wives finally run out of patience with their partners’ bad habits.

One of the country’s leading law firms has reported increasing frustration at the ease with which spouses are able to develop and maintain vices which result in divorce.

However, JMW Solicitors has claimed that many offended individuals are so ashamed of their spouse’s addiction to pornography, gambling, alcohol and shopping that they were reluctant to mention it during divorce proceedings.

Senior Associate Gianna Lisiecki-Cunane said that confronting partners with evidence of their own bad behaviour often prevented divorces being concluded amicably.
“Looking over our figures, I was somewhat surprised to discover the true proportion of divorces which we handle that involve one bad habit or another.

“Access to the internet is so available that people can bet, watch porn or shop in what they believe is relative secrecy compared to only a decade or so ago. Becoming dependent on alcohol is also no more inconvenient than a trip to the supermarket or the corner shop instead of long nights at the pub or frequent trips to an off licence as it might have done in previous years.

“It can, of course, ultimately prove impossible to keep such misdemeanours completely under wraps and that’s often the point at which a marriage unravels.

“Even though that unreasonable behaviour might have been the main factor for the break-up, it rarely emerges at the start of a divorce. Sometimes, that’s because a spouse is ashamed to say what their husband or wife might have got up to.

“We do our best to ensure that divorces can be concluded in an amicable fashion but the merest mention of any bad habits can destroy any notion of that. At that stage, it becomes a matter of the other spouses defending their honour and reputation against what they believe an outsider might view as a slur”.

Ms Lisiecki-Cunane’s comments follow the publication of figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing that 65 per cent of divorces granted in 2012 on the basis of unreasonable behaviour were to wives.

The ONS data reveals that divorce on the grounds of adultery by either men or women has been in decline since the late 1980s. However, 10 per cent more husbands were granted divorces in 2012 because of their wives’ poor conduct than had been at the turn of the century.

Ms Lisiecki-Cunane said that, in those cases handled by JMW, aggrieved husbands were more likely to claim that their wives had an unhealthy appetite for alcohol.

Meanwhile, she said, the complaints levelled at husbands were more varied and included gambling, porn and drinking habits.


For more information:

Samantha Meakin

0161 828 1981


Note to Editors

JMW Solicitors LLP is one of the leading Manchester law firms and offers a broad range of legal services to both commercial and private clients.  We are committed to providing legal services in a cost effective and timely manner.


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