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Divorce rate for newly married couples halves in 25 years

Divorces rates began to rise in the 1960s, peaking in 1993

Chelsea Ritschel
Saturday 22 September 2018 17:17 BST
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The number of couples divorcing after three years of marriage has dropped by half over the last 25 years, according to new research.

The findings come after divorce rates began to rise in the 1960s before hitting an all-time high in 1993.

For couples married for five years, the rate is down by over a third (39 per cent), and by a fifth in couples who have been together for a decade, according to data from the Marriage Foundation and The Times.

The news of a “relentless and steady decline” is positive after divorce skyrocketed among the recently married, a period where couples typically have young children.

While the decrease is likely the result of a number of factors, analysts speculate that couples taking on shared responsibilities in their marriages is the driving force – as fewer women have been filing for divorce.

More couples choosing to marry for love and not out of pressure or societal obligations has also correlated with the proportion of divorce.

Despite the findings, analysts from the Marriage Foundation, which combats the "national scourge of family breakdown," still have cause for worry, according to Sir Paul Coleridge, founder and chairman of the Marriage Foundation, who said: "There remain three big blots on this optimistic landscape.”

According to Coleridge, the number of couples getting married is too low – an issue considering the three times higher risk of separation in unmarried couples.

Non-married partners also account for half of the breakups amongst cohabiting couples – with the increased rate of separation correlating with couples that are less “well-off,” said Coleridge, a former High Court family judge.

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While the foundation believes there is still work to do, they are optimistic that long-lasting marriages will continue to become the norm as divorce rates lessen further.

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