‘Seven-year itch’ sees Scots couples divorce before 10th anniversary

Around 9,600 couples divorced in Scotland last year. Picture: Contributed
Around 9,600 couples divorced in Scotland last year. Picture: Contributed
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More than 9,600 marriages were brought to a legal end in Scotland, latest annual figures show.

It is perhaps a case of ‘the seven year itch’ - with couples who divorce in Scotland more likely do so before their 10th wedding anniversary

Scottish Government figures show that around a fifth (22 per cent) of all divorces end when the couple have been married for between five and nine years. Around 29,000 marriages were recorded in Scotland in 2014.

Meanwhile, over 9,600 marriages were brought to a legal end in 2013/2014.

Of these, around 2,120 couples called the lawyers in after less than a decade of wedlock.

A further 1,570 divorces were sought by those married between 10 and 14 years.

And just over 1,000 couples decided to call it a day after 30 years of more together.

Overall, civil marriages accounted for more than half of divorce cases in 2013-14.

Just under a third (29 per cent) of divorces were granted to couples who had been married in the Church of Scotland.

Around 800 couples wed by the Roman Catholic Church called it a day in 2013/2014 - around nine percent of the total divorce rate.

Of these, the highest were recorded amongst those who had been married for 30 years of more.

Meanwhile, 61 civil partnerships were brought to an end in 2013/2014. Overall, both men and women in the 45 to 49-year-old age group were likely to bring their union to a legal end.

Of the 9,619 divorces granted in 2013/2014, the vast majority were done so after the couple had lived separately for two or more years (68 per cent).

Just over 2,500 (26 per cent) went for a ‘quickie’ divorce after both couples agreed to end the marriage after living apart for a year or more.

Unreasonable behaviour was cited in 430 cases with divorce sought on the grounds of adultery in 48 divorce papers.

Separate research from the 2011 Census charts where in Scotland people are most likely to be divorced.

West Dunbartonshire recorded the highest proportion of residents who were separated, divorced or formerly in same sex civil partnership at 13.3 per cent.

Clackmannanshire followed at 12.9 per cent with North Ayrshire - which includes the Isle of Arran - at 12.6 per cent.

East Dunbartonshire had the lowest proportion of those who had divorced or separated, at 8.68 per cent.

Divorce rates are declining in Scotland from a peak of 13,700 in 2006.

A drop of around 900 marriages has been recorded since then.