Divorces among opposite-sex couples lowest since 1971

December 3, 2019, By

Divorce statistics for 2018 have just been published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The figures reveal that in 2018 there were 10,798 fewer divorces of opposite-sex couples compared to 2017 – a significant decrease of 10.6%. The 2018 figure of 90,871 divorces is therefore the lowest recorded figure since 1971, when there were 404,737 registered marriages, and 74,437 divorces. The ONS’ report also notes that ‘marriage rates have more than halved since the 1960s and 1970s’.

The ONS has stated that one reason for the scale of the decrease is that in 2018 the courts processed a large backlog of divorce petitions, which it expects will ‘translate into a higher number of completed divorces in 2019’. The continued rise in unmarried couples is also noted as a reason for the falling number of divorces among opposite-sex couples.

Couples who are neither married nor in a civil partnership do not have the benefit of the court’s wide powers in respect of a divorce or dissolution, and the financially weaker party is therefore in a much more vulnerable position should the relationship break down.

Our family lawyers are experts in all aspects of divorce and financial proceedings, as well as claims where those involved are not married or in a civil partnership. To get in touch, call the team on 0161 672 1247 or email family@slaterheelis.co.uk.