News | December 6, 2019

Office for National Statistics: Divorce in England and in Wales 2018

On 29 November 2019, the Office for National Statistics published their statistical bulletin in relation to divorces in England and Wales in 2018.

In summary, some of the main findings were that:

  • There was a 10.6% decrease from 2017, in the number of opposite – sex couples divorces (90, 871 in 2018) – the lowest number since 1971.
  • For opposite-sex couples who divorced in 2018, the average duration of marriage was 12.5 years.
  • ¾ of same-sex divorces were between female couples.
  • The number of same-sex couples divorcing in 2018 increased from 2017.
  • For both opposite-sex and same-sex couples, the most common ground for petitioning for divorce was unreasonable behaviour.

The downward trend in divorces is said to be “broadly consistent with a decline in the number of marriages since 1989”.

There was also a large administrative backlog at the divorce centres so if it is anticipated that this has had an effect on the numbers of divorces processed in 2018 and that it will, in turn, lead to an increase in the number of divorces processed in 2019.