Saturday, 31 May 2008

What are your chances of divorce?

Having practised as a Brisbane family lawyer for umpteen years, I wonder at times about how long people people remain married.

This issue is one of those that comes up from time to time when family lawyers and family law judges look at the length of a marriage in the context of a property settlement.

When, after all is a long marriage? I had always considered it in the context of say 20 or 30 years. Other practitioners have told me over the years that it is in the order of say 5 or 6 years!

So I thought I would do some digging.

My research skills no doubt are not as good as some, but this is what I found...

It was interesting coming across the US National Marriage Project, run out of respected Rutgers University in New Jersey. It contains all sorts of info about marriage trends throughout Europe, the US, UK, Australia and NZ.

Those trends show that marriage rates are higher in the US than nordic Europe, for example, but divorce rates in the US lead the world. They didn't tell me, however, how long marriages last there.

What I was able to get was that divorce rates are about 50-60%, higher in second marriages- for the article, click here.

In Australia, what the Australian Bureau of Statistics was able to tell me was that in 2006 the average length of marriage from date of marriage to separation was 8.9 years, an increase from 7.6 years in 1996. So that's a long marriage?

Then I stumbled across, which did not tell me the length of marriage, but did tell me the divorce rate per new marriages (as of 2002).

Here is the top 6:

Sweden 54.9
Belarus 52.9
Finland 51.2
Luxembourg 47.4
Estonia 46.7
Australia 46

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