There has been a sharp fall in the number of divorces granted to wives during the early years of marriage, new research has found. According to pro-marriage think tank, Marriage Foundation, the number has fallen by as much as 50% since 1986.
Fewer women filing for divorce appears to account for almost all the drop in the overall divorce rate over the past 30 years. The number of men granted divorces has essentially not changed.
In the early years of marriage, women are over four times more likely to seek a divorce than men, says Marriage Foundation.
Harry Benson, Research Director of Marriage Foundation, attributes the fall in divorces sought by women to a more committed group of men choosing to marry.
“In the past ten years especially the social and family pressure for men to marry has significantly reduced,” he explained. “Those men who decide now to marry do so with a greater level of commitment and intention to make the marriage work. The result is happier wives and lower divorce rates.”
Sir Paul Coleridge, who founded Marriage Foundation, welcomed the fall in women seeking divorce, but expressed concerns about the ever greater numbers of men choosing not to marry.
“The scale of the decrease in women filing for divorce suggests that men doing better must be a significant factor in explaining the trend,” he commented. “However what worries me is that so many fewer couples are marrying now than they were in the 1980s at a time when our largely uncontroversial research has established beyond doubt that married couples have a far greater chance of avoiding family breakdown than cohabiting couples.”
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