Divorce rate statistics (U.K.)
The divorce rate for 2006 fell by 7% and is now at the lowest rate since 1984.

Many divorcing men and women had a previous divorce

One in five men and women divorcing in 2006 had a previous marriage ending in divorce. This proportion has doubled in 25 years. In 1981 just over one in ten men and women divorcing had a previous marriage ending in divorce.

For over 2/3 of divorces, the wife was granted the divorce. For all divorces granted, behaviour was the most common fact proven.

The average age at divorce is increasing

For the past 10 years the average age at divorce in England and Wales has risen from 39.8 to 43.4 years for men and from 37.3 to 40.9 years for women, partly reflecting the rise in age at marriage.

Divorce in U.K. at lowest number since 1977

For the U.K. as whole, between 2005 and 2006, the number of divorces granted in the UK fell by 4.5 per cent to 148,141, from 155,052. This is the second consecutive drop in the number of UK divorces and the lowest number since 1977. The figure is 18 per cent lower than the highest number of divorces, which peaked in 1993 (180,018).

Divorce rate increases in Scotland and Northern Ireland

Divorces in both Scotland (13,014) and Northern Ireland (2,565) increased in 2006 by 19 per cent and 9 per cent respectively. The rise in Scotland may be due in part to an amendment to the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006.

The Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 came into effect on 4 May 2006. The Act reduced the separation periods for divorce with consent to one year (previously two years) and without consent to two years (previously five years). It also removed 'desertion' as grounds.

Source: National Statistics website: www.statistics.gov.uk
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