1. In 2011 there were 117,558 divorces in England and Wales. This is a 1.7% reduction on 2010.
  2. In 2011 more wives issued divorce proceedings than men (77,000 compared to 40,000). The most common ground for women issuing was behaviour at 41,000 followed by adultery at 11,000. The most common ground for men issuing was behaviour at 14,000 followed closely by 2 years separation at 13,000.
  3. Almost half (49%) of couples who divorced in 2011 had at least 1 child under 16.
  4. People aged between 40 and 44 are most likely to divorce.
  5. About 42% of marriages are still expected to end in divorce though this is a drop from 45% in 2005.
  6. The fall in divorce is consistent with the decline in the number of marriages – more couples are choosing to cohabit.
  7. Divorce rates decreased between 2004 and 2011 except in 2010 when it increased.
  8. 34% of marriages are expected to end in divorce by their 20th wedding anniversary.



Has the recession had an impact? There are two trains of thought. One is that changes in employment, financial strain, related lifestyle changes could contribute to divorce. The other train is that partnerships are more likely to survive because of increased solidarity however there is also the reduction in the value of properties which has meant less equity and therefore less capital to re-house both husband and wife. This might therefore suggest that we are seeing a delayed impact and that once the economy starts to pick up the divorce rates will again increase.