The number of divorces of opposite-sex couples increased in 2019 following decreases seen in 2017 and 2018

In 2019, 107,599 hetero-sexual couples divorced, an increase of 18.4% on the 2018 figure of 90,871. This equates to 8.9 divorces per 1,000 married opposite-sex couples. (A change in administrating a backlog of cases partly accounts for this increase.) The most commonly cited ‘unreasonable behaviour’ – 49% of wives and 35% of husbands. The median average duration of marriage at the time of divorce was 12.3 years, slightly lower than the previous year.

822 same-sex couples divorced in 2019 which was nearly twice the 2018 figure of 428. The majority of these (72%) were between female couples. ‘Unreasonable behaviour’ was also the most common reason for divorce – 63% of divorces among women and 70% among men.
The report quotes statistician Nick Stripe: “Same-sex couples have been able to marry in England and Wales from March 2014. Since then, we have seen the number of divorces of same-sex couples increase each year from very small numbers in 2015 when the first divorces took place, to more than 800 in 2019, reflecting the increasing size of the same-sex married population in England and Wales.
“While we see that 56% of same-sex marriages were among females, nearly three-quarters of same-sex divorces in 2019 were to female couples. Unreasonable behaviour, which includes adultery, was the most common ground for divorce among same-sex couples this year as almost two-thirds of couples divorced for this reason.”

The full report can be read at: