More siblings means a lower divorce rate? by Randal Buckley - The Law House Family Law Solicitors, London & Peterborough

More siblings means a lower divorce rate? by Randal Buckley

By in All Blogs, Family Law Category on September 23rd, 2013

A recent research study by Ohio State about divorce shows that adults who have grown up with siblings are less likely to divorce and that the more siblings you have, the less likely your marriage will end in divorce.

 The research is analyzed by Alexandra Sifferlin in Time magazine and she says that:


“Learning to co-exist with siblings, each of whom has a different personality, can have a significant impact on how a person establishes and maintains relationships with others”.

As a divorce lawyer, I have come to conclude that there are no two identical relationships and one should be cautious of drawing conclusions the successful relationships are all about the number of siblings you have. That said, there is also some basic common sense about co-existence here that most of us learned in primary school. Essential survival skills include listening, communicating, compromising, the ability to ‘move on’ and others that are unique to each family. Surprisingly, I also find that bare luck and timing have a role in determining whether or not a relationship survives. There is also the question in my mind about large numbers of siblings who simply don’t get on with each other and never will or where the gap in ages between siblings is sufficiently large that they had little contact with each other growing up.

Maybe it is my own childhood that encourages me to warm to the conclusions in the study because I certainly think that sharing a childhood with my sister and brother has taught me most of my essential co-existence skills.

 When considering their next step, most of my new divorce clients have reached the end of their tether and feel unable to compromise with their partner any further. Large families are accustomed to complicated co-existence and so, to stretch a metaphor, their ability to compromise, their tether, may be longer than people without siblings. My advice to new clients considering divorce is almost always that divorce is sufficiently difficult to, at the very least, consider whether or not it might be better to bend a little and work on repairing the relationship rather then rush to breaking it off.

Sadly, for some clients separation and divorce is right and at The Law House we are determined to ensure that our clients are guided in professional but empathetic way.  Our solicitors have the breadth of experience to not only ensure that our client’s are able to reach a fair financial settlement but also know that they have someone “on their side” defending their best interests.

 If you would like to speak with me about your relationship please contact Randal Buckley on 020 8956 2655 or e-mail Silvana Bedford at