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The Leap Year: is romance in the air?

View profile for Lisa Collins
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In England and Wales, tradition dictates that women can propose marriage in a leap year, a romantic gesture which is made by hundreds of women every four years.

The latest marriage figures suggest that romance is on the rise with the number of couples marrying rising by almost 4% in England and Wales. The figures, released by the Office of National Statistics, indicate that society’s attitude towards marriage may be changing, with the highest number of marriages occurring between men and women between the ages of 25 and 29.

So is romance in the air? Greek folklore suggests that couples who marry during a leap year have bad luck. The statistics for marriage may suggest otherwise, but with the amount of people getting divorced also on the increase, I think society’s commitment to matrimony may be questioned, particularly by the more sceptical amongst us.

Many believe the increase in those marrying can be explained by a reduction in the number of people marrying abroad (largely as a result of the financial crisis). This may be true, however I believe the increase in both marriage and divorce is no coincidence; the increase in both may simply be an expression of the number of people getting re-married, as a result of the rising divorce figures. That may not be the most romantic analysis but as a matrimonial lawyer it is nice to think people continue to believe in matrimony following a divorce.

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