The Office for National Statistics (‘ONS’) releases yearly divorce statistics based on information from HM Courts and Tribunals Service. The most recent statistical report covers the year 2020. The overall total of divorces for 2020 was 103,592, a decrease of 4.5% compared with the number of divorces in 2019 (02.02.22, ONS).


Obviously, these figures must be taken with a pinch of salt due to the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. The periods of lockdown and suspension of courts make it difficult to fully understand the impact this had on divorce statistics. However, the key facts and figures to take from this report are:


Opposite-Sex Couples

  • In 2020 there were 102,438 opposite-sex divorces a decrease of 4.8% from 2019.


Same-Sex Couples

  • In 2020 there were 1,154 divorces among same-sex couples increasing by 40.4% from 2019. Female same-sex divorces continue to account for the majority at 71.3%.


Most Popular Ground for Divorce

  • In 2020 the most utilised ground for divorce was unreasonable behaviour for both opposite-sex and same-sex divorces. This ground was mostly used by wives petitioning for divorce (47.4%) as husbands generally preferred to rely on two-year separation (34.7%).


Average Length of Marriage Before Divorce

  • In 2020 the average (median) length of the marriage at the time of divorce was 11.9 years for opposite-sex couples and 4.7 years for female same-sex couples and 5.4 years for male same-sex couples.


  • In part, the lower figure for same-sex couples is due to the fact divorce between same-sex couples has only been possible since 2015 following the introduction of same-sex marriages in 2014.


Stalwart Solicitors is happy to talk to you regarding the facts and nature of your case. Each case is unique and requires a personalised approach to how the divorce is handled, including matrimonial financial aspects.


Please get in touch with us for a 30-minute free video chat, web chat or telephone call to start the conversation and see how we can help. We are available 24/7 through the following platforms:


Telephone: 0345 222 0452




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