The Stats Are In!

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released results relating to marriage and divorce for heterosexual couples and same-sex relationships for 2018.

Who is getting married, and how old are they?

There were 119,188 marriages in Australia during 2018, which is an increase of 5.5% on 2017.  The median age for marriage for males was 32.4 years and for females was 30.5years.

Within the total number of marriages for the year, 6,538 were for same-sex couples.  This is particularly relevant noting the change in legislation on 9 December 2017 which (finally) formalised the legal right for same -sex couples to enter into a marriage contract.

Interestingly, 4 out of 5 marriages were performed by a marriage celebrant.

Is divorce less or more common?

In 2018, the number of divorces was largely unchanged from 2017, i.e., approximately 49,000 divorces.

It is interesting to note that the “crude” rate of divorce since 1998 has actually decreased from 2.7 divorces per 1,000 people to 2.0 divorces per 1,000 people in 2018.

The median age for divorce was 45.9 years for males and 43.2 years for females.

The average duration of relationships leading to divorce was 12.3years, with 47.3% of marriages involving children.

There is a spike in the proportion of divorces in relationships that have endured for 5-9 years (25%) after which the proportion of divorces tends to decline as the length of the relationship increased.  For example, the proportion of divorces for relationships that are 15-19 years in duration is approximately 13%.

Is it possible to suggest that the longer your stay in the relationship, the happier you are?  Or is complacency (or dependence?) the main issue here?

Interesting relationship statistics

The ABS has also collated statistics on the median age of marriage, separation and divorce.

From 1998 to 2018, it is unsurprising to find that the median age for males and females for all of these three events has increased over the years.

For example:

  • For males, in 1998 the average age for separation was 37.2 years whilst in 2018 it is now 42 years.
  • For females, in 1998 the average age of separation was 34.5 years whilst in 2018 it is 39.3 years.

These statistics make it clear that most people start thinking about the viability and longevity of their relationships during their mid to late 30’s and generally make a decision whether to divorce or not during their 40’s.

It is interesting to note that for males, the highest divorce rate is seen in the 45-49-year age group, whilst for females it is the 40-44-year age group.

The reasons for the breakdown in married and de facto couples are wide and varied in nature. Whilst many would think infidelity is a main cause, in our experience, incompatibility and (unfortunately) family violence tend to be the more common features of separated couples.

We have initial consultations with many clients who simply want to find out what their options are should they decide to separate, as well as those that have already decided to end their relationship.

Call us now on 9443 111 for a free 15-minute telephone consultation with one of our experienced family lawyers.  If you only need initial advice this might be enough, or otherwise, you can schedule an obligation-free 1-hour initial consultation at a fixed fee of $250 + GST.

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