Statistics produced on the 18th October 2017 by the Office for National Statistics show that there has been an increase of 5.8% during 2016 in opposite sex divorces.  The total divorces in 2016 numbered  106,959.

Divorces last hit a peak in 2003 & 2004 and there has been a decrease since that time.

One of the main reasons believed by many for the decline in divorce proceedings, is the increase in cohabitation between couples instead of marriage.  This may be considered an extremely worrying trend as there is still little or no legal protection for cohabitants.  A very large  number of people in the UK believe that there is protection for common law marriage.  This is a complete myth.  There is no such protection.

The only protection that can be obtained is by way of a cohabitation agreement/living together agreement being signed between the parties on cohabitation commencing.

Some Interesting Statistics from the Report:-

  • The principle grounds for divorce remain petitions based upon the opponent’s unreasonable behaviour. 61% of the petitions brought on the basis of unreasonable behaviour are brought by wives.
  • The highest category for divorce for men and women is between the ages of 45 and 49.
  • Average length of marriage between opposite sex couples is 12 years. This has remained relatively settled over the last 50 years ranging between an average of 8.9 years and 12.2 years.
  • What percentage of marriages ends in divorce – this is currently 42% with half of these divorces being expected during the first 10 years of marriage.
  • The number of men starting divorce proceedings as the petitioner has increased by 39% of all divorces. This has seen a gradual increase since the early 1990s. At that time the proportion was only 27%.

All of these statistics are obtained by the Office for National Statistics from information obtained from the Court Services and is therefore accurate and reliable.

How does the UK compare with USA

In the USA 41% of first marriages end in divorce and their average length of marriage to divorce is 8 years.

Celebrity Divorce Statistics

  • The largest financial settlement appears to be between Mel and Robyn Gibson in 2009 estimated to have cost Mel Gibson $425,000,000.
  • Most marriages – this award goes to Zsa Zsa Gabor who was married 9 times.
  • Shortest marriage – this still appears to be awarded to Brittany Spears whose marriage was annulled to Jason Alexander after just 55 hours.
  • Elvis Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, was married 9 months before divorce proceedings to Michael Jackson and 3 months to Nicholas Cage.

If you require any assistance with regard to divorce, financial or children matters then please contact Pam Arrowsmith on 0121 227 3850 or or Jasdeep Nagra on 0121 227 3860 or

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