Family & Divorce

What’s the divorce rate these days?

DivorceEvery family lawyer in Australia, and probably the world, would most likely agree that this is one of our most frequently asked questions, but the answer is not a simple one.

The most recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (“ABS”) indicates that in 2021, the crude divorce rate was 2.2 divorces per 1,000 people, an increase from 1.9 the previous year. It would be easy to assume that the increase in the crude divorce rate from 2020 to 2021 arose from covid-related marriage breakdowns, but this isn’t the case. In Australia, parties must be separated for at least 12 months before applying for divorce, so it is unlikely that a significant proportion of the 56,244 divorces granted in Australia in 2021 were couples who separated during nation-wide lockdowns. Rather, the ABS reports that the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia attributes the increase in the crude divorce rate, and overall number of divorces granted in 2021, to administrative changes within the Court that led to an increase in finalisations of applications and reduced waiting times. Prior to 2021, the crude divorce rate in Australia was trending downwards after a peak of 4.6 in 1976, after the introduction of no-fault divorce under the Family Law Act 1975.

Of course, the percentage of marriages that end in divorce can be influenced by various factors, including evolving gender roles, shifting attitudes towards marriage and divorce, and economic factors, such as financial instability or job loss.

Additionally, divorce rates can vary across different demographic groups, such as age, education level, and socioeconomic status and therefore the crude divorce rate is not necessarily a reliable metric to measure the happiness, health or success of relationships across the board. For example, the most recent statistics show that in 2021 the divorce rate for those aged under 45 years was higher for females, and the rate for those aged over 45 years was higher for males.

The statistics can only tell us so much. The important thing to focus on for those entering a marriage is fostering healthy and loving relationships. And, for those ending a marriage, getting objective advice in relation to the complex legal processes that arise from separation is advisable.

Get in touch!

If you are considering divorce or in the process of ending a marriage, our team of experienced and caring family lawyers are here to help you.

To confidentially discuss your situation, please contact Deanna Gatto or any member of our Family Law Team directly or call 1800 730 842 to speak with one of our family lawyers who can provide you with legal advice for all issues relating to divorce and separation.