New Data Out Now on Marriage and Divorce following the COVID-19 Pandemic

On 24 November 2021, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released some really interesting data about marriages and divorces in Australia, taken from data samples during 2020.  So how has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted marriages and divorces in Australia?

The Marriage Data

In 2020, the number of marriages registered in Australia decreased by 30.6% from 2019. This marked the largest annual decrease ever reported and the lowest report of marriage registrations since 1961.

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly contributed to the low rate of marriage registrations given tough restrictions and lockdowns. However, the pandemic has also contributed to the breakdown of marriages where relationships were strained due to immense financial pressures, home-schooling, and working from home.

The Divorce Data

In 2020, 49,510 divorces were granted in Australia, an increase of 1.9% from 2019. As divorces are typically granted 12 months after separation, the breakdown of marriages throughout the COVID-19 pandemic will not be reflected in data for some years.

Financial pressures due to the pandemic have also meant that couples are unable to formally separate simply because they cannot afford it.

Harsh lockdowns have been the catalyst for the breakdown of marriages as couples have been forced to spend increased amounts of time together. Marriages typically breakdown over the school holidays and Christmas period when couples spend the most time together, so it is completely understandable that this would be exacerbated during lockdowns.

Does age have anything to do with it?

The median age at divorce has increased over time from 41.4 years in 2000 to 45.6 years and 38.6 years in 2000 to 42.8 years for males and females respectively.

What about the length of marriages?

The median duration of marriage to separation and divorce has slightly increased since 2000. In 2020, it was recorded that the median duration of marriage to separation was 8.4 years and the median duration to divorce was 12.1 years.

So, what does this all mean for you?

Many people across Australia and the rest of the world are experiencing hardship in their relationships, marriages, and family home. At the commencement of the first lockdown following the pandemic, you may have thought that it was a great opportunity to spend more quality time with your partner and that maybe because you and your partner were working from home, the load of housework would be shared equally. Many people had these high hopes only to realise that the lockdowns only highlighted the cracks within their marriage. If you are feeling like your marriage is breaking down and you don’t know how to cope or what steps to take, just know that there is support out there. You are not alone, and it is never too late to ask for help or seek advice.

How O’Loan Family Law Can Help

If you are thinking about separating or have already separated, please get in touch at (02) 9922 2230 or send us an email at info@oloanfamilylaw.com.au to discuss your matter in complete confidence.  We can advise and guide you to find the right resolution pathway for you and your family. O’Loan Family Law offers specialist family law advice, conveniently located in Lavender Bay on Sydney’s North Shore.  We help separating families find amicable solutions that consider your unique situation so you can move on with your life. Our value pricing service offerings include collaborative practice, assisted DIY separation and what we like to call, the traditional family law pathway. We’ve got your back.

About the Author

Bron O'Loan

Bron O’Loan is the Founder & Director of O’Loan Family Law and is an expert family lawyer and independent children’s lawyer. Bron has worked in Family Law since 2015 and is an experienced litigator and skilful negotiator in all family law matters. She is also an experienced speaker and best selling author of The Splits – How to help your kids navigate separation and divorce.

Connect with Bron on LinkedIn: Bron O’Loan | LinkedIn

This post is an overview only and should not be considered as legal advice.  If there are any matters that you would like us to advise you on, then please contact us.