Divorce can be a difficult topic to think about. Sometimes just the thought of divorce can elicit an emotional response. It can invoke fear, anxiety, or sadness. But, it can also bring about feelings of freedom, relief, and hope for a happier future. While we can’t tell you how to feel about it, we can do our part to try and educate, inform and update you on the subject. If you’re like us, then gaining a bit of knowledge can sometimes help to understand how we feel and maybe give a bit of direction on what to do if you’re thinking about divorce. Here are some facts and information about the current statistics and things to consider when considering divorce.
Unlike many other western nations which bemoan a 50% divorce rate; Australian marriages are a little more resilient, with about one-third ending in divorce. While these figures are still quite alarming for newlyweds and romantics, all is not lost. Current Australian divorce rates have dropped since the 1990s when the peak of divorces caused by the more lenient rules of the Family Law Act 1975 started levelling out. This law allowed married couples to divorce after only 12 months’ separation for ‘irretrievable breakdown’, rather than having to first endure five years of separation or prove fault with your ex-partner. This
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), 49,510 divorces were granted in Australia in 2020. This is an increase of 1.9% from 2019 (48,582).
The crude divorce rate remained the same as in 2019 (and 2016) at 1.9 divorces per 1,000 people. This is the lowest rate in more than 50 years – and a significant drop from 2000 when the rate was 2.6 divorces per 1,000 people.
The impact of COVID on marriages is yet unknown. Since divorces are granted after 12 months or more, it could be some time before the rate changes – if indeed it does. Given the effects of COVID, lockdowns, working from home, and all the other restrictions, it seems likely that there’ll be an impact. But, it remains to be seen.
For now, though, the rate is relatively stable. Are we just getting better at making things work?
Why has the rate of divorce dropped?
• Fewer people are getting married to begin with
• Many more people are living together before marriage – the ‘try before you buy’ approach!
• Less stigma on single parenting has decreased unsuitable ‘shotgun’ weddings
• The median age of couples entering marriage has increased (younger couples under 25 years tend to divorce more frequently).
• Greater access to birth control has reduced the stress of too many children in a relationship.
• A greater number of people entering tertiary education, has been shown to decrease divorce rates.
Of the divorces granted in 2020, there are a number of defining features, such as:
• The median age for divorce was 45.6 years for men, and 42.8 years for women. This has been trending upwards since 2000.
• In the age groups under 45, the divorce rate was higher for women; in the age groups above 45, the divorce rate was higher for men.
• The median duration of marriage to separation was 8.4 years in 2020, compared with 8.2 years in 2000
• The median duration of marriage to divorce was 12.1 years in 2020, compared with 11.6 years in 2000.
How to Prevent Divorce
There’s no sure way of divorce-proofing your marriage, but there are a number of factors that make you less likely to go your separate ways.
Besides the reasons for a decrease in divorces mentioned above, other factors include:
• Those getting married for the first time have a greater chance of staying together than those marrying for the second or third (or more) time.
• Those with happily married parents are less likely to divorce themselves.
• Couples with children are less likely to divorce.
What to do if it’s time to get a divorce
If you’re thinking about divorce and you feel like it’s time, seek professional and specialist help. It doesn’t always have to be as nasty of an occasion as Johnny Depp and Amber Heard.
Divorce proceedings can be streamlined and handled quickly and efficiently. If both parties choose, things can be settled in a way that doesn’t require months of drawn-out legal proceedings, emotional battles, and expensive legal fees.
Want to avoid timely and costly court proceedings? Consider a Binding Financial Agreement.
Financial agreements are designed to help people avoid costly and time hungry litigation. An agreement where both parties are represented and agree to terms will get things settled quickly and without all the extra heartache of a long drawn-out divorce.
We believe in the adage that “it is better to mediate than it is to litigate.” This means that things can be handled outside of the courts, and it’s much easier if both parties are willing to negotiate and agree to terms.
If you or a loved one are considering divorce, please contact us now to discuss your options and find out how CM Lawyers can be there to make sure that you are well represented. We specialise in making sure that our clients get their fair share while making sure that things run as smoothly as possible.
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