Christchurch post-quake divorce figures soaring

Christchurch Press 23 July 2012
Christchurch couples are divorcing by the “bucketload”. Dissolution of marriage applications are flooding Christchurch’s Family Court and the registry support officer fears it may be only the first wave. Family Court registry support officer Judith Millar said the court was receiving at least five divorce applications a day and many were now being posted in from Australia. For the past four years, divorce rates have plummeted nearly 50 per cent in Christchurch from 1303 in 2008 to only 716 in 2011, Statistics New Zealand figures show. Yet the Family Court has already received about 600 divorce applications so far this year, almost surpassing last year’s total in only seven months.

…High-profile relationship expert and author Ian Grant said pressure from a crisis could either “make or break” a relationship. “If you don’t mend the fences, or do the daily maintenance in your relationship when a crisis hits, then it all falls apart,” he said. Cantabrians had “been through hell” and he had no doubt their relationships had suffered because of it. “If there’s any shakiness in a relationship, the earthquake is the biggest shake to pull it apart,” he said. “It’s the final straw on the camel’s back.”