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The Office for National Statistics has released statistics on marriage and divorce in England and Wales. The statistics show that there has been a decline in heterosexual marriages since 1972. Marriage rates remain historically low save for a small increase in 2016.
30 July was the most popular day to get married in 2016 with 4,742 weddings taking place on this day. The least popular day was Christmas Day with only two weddings taking place. The tenth most popular date was Valentine's Day. Over the last two decades, August has been the most popular month to get married.
In 2016, the average age for first time heterosexual marriages was 33.4 years for men and 31.5 years for women. For same sex couples the average age for first time marriages was 39.5 years for men and 35.4 years for women.
In 2016, there were 249,793 marriages in England and Wales - 1.7 % more than in 2015. 97.2% of all marriages were between heterosexual couples and 2.8% were between same sex couples.
There has been a decline in religious ceremonies taking place with more couples opting for a civil ceremony instead.
According to recent statistics, 42% of marriages ended in divorce in 2017. 102,007 couples divorced in 2017.
More and more heterosexual and same sex couples continue to live together as "husband and wife" without ever getting married. Statistics show the rise in cohabiting couples with and without dependent children. In 1996 there were 934 cohabiting couples without dependents and 540 with dependents. In 2016 there were 1989 cohabiting couples without dependents and 1270 with dependents. The figures show cohabiting couples have more than doubled over the last decade.
Given the increasing number of relationship breakdowns and divorce, we strongly advise couples who are planning to live together, enter into a civil partnership or marry, to seek independent legal advice on how best to protect their assets in the event of the relationship, civil partnership or marriage breaking down.
For further information and advice on this issue, and other family law issues, please contact us for a free initial consultation on 01992 306 616 or 0207 956 2740 or email us.Back to Law Articles