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Divorce for same sex married couples rise in 2019

View profile for Liz Graham
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Same-sex couples have been able to marry in England and Wales from March 2014. Since then, the number of divorces of same-sex couples has increased each year from very small numbers in 2015 to more than 800 in 2019.  This reflects the increasing size of the same-sex married population in England and Wales, and some of the increase can be attributed to divorce centres processing a backlog of casework in 2018, which is likely to have translated into a higher number of completed divorces in 2019.

Adultery is not a fact upon which same sex married couples can rely in a divorce petition.  However, unreasonable behaviour, which includes adultery, was the most common ground for divorce among same-sex couples in 2019 as almost two-thirds of couples divorced for this reason, with 49 per cent of wives and 35 per cent of husbands petitioning on these grounds. There were 822 divorces among same-sex couples in 2019, nearly twice the number in 2018 (428 divorces). Of these, nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) were between female couples.

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