According to new data from the Office for National Statistics, there were 106,959 divorces between opposite-sex couples in 2016 – a 5.8% rise from the year before.

This is the highest rise in divorce in more than two decades, since there was a 10.9% rise in 1984 to 1985. The highest number of divorces were among men aged 45 to 49 and women aged 30 to 39, the ONS figures showed. A total of 112 same-sex marriages ended, with lesbian couples making up 78% of that number. Same-sex couples were only legally allowed to marry from March 2014, with 22 divorcing the following year.

ONS spokeswoman Nicola Haines said: ‘Although the number of divorces of opposite-sex couples in England and Wales increased by 5.8% in 2016 compared with 2015, the number remains 30% lower than the most recent peak in 2003. ‘This is the second year that divorces among same-sex couples have been possible since the introduction of marriages of same-sex couples in March 2014. ‘Our latest marriage figures show that of the 4,850 marriages formed between same-sex couples in 2014, 56% were female couples. ‘In 2016, there were 112 divorces among same-sex couples, with female couples accounting for 78% of these.






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