Changing Family Patterns - Divorce

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  • Since 1960s divorce has increased, peaked in 1993, slight decrease since 2010.

  • About 7 in 10 petitions (requests) –for divorce are from women.

  • Working class - higher rate of divorce than middle class.

  • Asian couples - lower rate than white couples.

  • More like to divorce- those who have a child and/or cohabit before marriage, those who marry young/a partner from a different class, ethnicity or religion.


Reasons for the trends

  • Declining stigma and changing attitudes: more socially acceptable.

  • Secularisation:  decline of religion in society- less religious opposition.

  • Rising expectations of marriage: marry for love now, not money- leave if love goes.

  • Changes in the position of women: working, so can support themselves if they get divorced.

  • Changes in the law: now cheaper - couples get legal aid. 1923 - grounds equalised between men & women.


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