Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Divorce rate in Ireland hits 27 per cent, report indicates

Ireland 's marital breakdown rate has now hit 27.5 per cent, figures from the Courts Service Annual Report for 2008 indicate.

The report shows that there were 6,222 separations and divorces in 2008, an increase of 15.6 per cent from 2001, when there were 5,380 separations and divorces.

Of these, 4,257 were divorces, with 1,965 separations making up the difference.

This represents a 22 per cent increase in divorce since 2001, when there were 3,490 divorces.

Fifty-eight per cent of divorce proceedings are begun by women and 72 per cent of judicial separation figures are begun by women. This is in line with the international experience.

When compared to the 22,544 marriages which took place in 2007, the latest year for which such figures are available, the figures show a divorce rate of 18.8 per cent, with an overall marital breakdown rate of 27.5 per cent once separation figures are added in.

However, this is still likely to be an underestimate because many couples reach private separation agreements which are not recorded in the official figures.

The Court Report confirms a long term trend towards higher marital breakdown in Ireland. The 2006 Census showed that there had been a 500 per cent rise in marital breakdown since 1986 with over 200,000 people in Ireland now divorced or separated.

The 2006 figures showed that, calculated as a percentage of all the first marriages in the country, 13 per cent of people had experienced marital breakdown.

The 2008 figures also show that there were 857 custody and access orders made in the Circuit Court in respect of judicial separations and divorces. In the District Court, there were 1,243 such orders made.

There were 164 barring orders granted in the Circuit Court, with 1,251 granted in the District Court. There were 2,955 protection orders granted in the District Court, with 1,502 safety orders also granted in this court.

The District Court in 2008 also granted 445 interim barring orders.
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