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Divorce

Volume 497: debated on Tuesday 13 October 2009

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many divorces have been concluded in each quarter of the last three years. (289319)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated August 2009:

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many divorces have been concluded in each quarter of the last three years. (289319)

The table below summarises divorces concluded in each quarter for 2005, 2006 and 2007; data for 2007 are provisional.

UK Divorces by quarter 2005-07

Quarters

2005

2006

20071

March

39,448

37,682

38,875

June

40,000

36,720

37,231

September

38,882

37,004

36,733

December

36,722

36,735

31,381

Total

155,052

148,141

144,220

1 Provisional

Divorces are tabulated according to date of decree absolute. The term ‘divorces’ includes decrees of nullity. The fact that a divorce has taken place in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland does not mean either of the parties is resident there.

In Scotland a small number of late divorces from previous years are added to the current year. Scotland are presently revising their divorce counts to exclude the late divorces from previous years (back to 1985). The changes will be small and will not affect UK trends over the time period in question. The new Scottish counts will be published by the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS) in their forthcoming Annual Report, due to be published on 7 August 2009.