Marriage is the chief cause of divorce

3rd February 2013

The Office for National Statistics on 20th December 2012 released, for the first time, their 2011 divorce statistics for England and Wales.

When considering these statistics you must take into account that a marriage may be dissolved following a petition for divorce and the granting of Decree Absolute or annulled following a petition for nullity and the awarding of a Decree of Nullity. For the purposes of the statistics, the term divorce includes both Decrees Absolute and Decrees of Nullity.

Key Findings

Number of divorces in England and Wales in 2011 was 117,558, a decrease of 1.7% since 2010 when there were 119,589 divorces.
It is estimated that the percentage of marriages ending in divorce is 42%. Around half of those divorces occur in the first 10 years of marriage.
The average duration of a marriage for divorces granted in 2011 was 11.5 years, a small increase from 2010 which was 11.4 years.
Despite the decrease in divorces, the number of civil partnership dissolutions increased in 2011 however this is probably due to the fact that this type of partnership is relatively new and therefore the numbers of people in civil partnerships is increasing at the same time.

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