Relationships

Divorce Around the World: Surprising Countries with High Divorce Rates

Based on the Office of National Statistics, around 42% of marriages in the United Kingdom end in divorce. That might seem like an awful lot of failed marriages but the UK doesn’t even come close to the top list of countries with the highest divorce rates. Out of 104 destinations, the UK places at the 38th spot of high divorce statistics. The unfortunate countries to make it to the top 5 might surprise you.

Sitting on the fifth spot of high divorce rates is one of the most powerful countries in the world – the United States. Around 46% of marriages in the US end in divorce. That’s about one divorce happening in every 36 seconds. Divorces had become so commonplace in modern society that it’s said that half of all American children will witness the separation of their parents in their lifetime. According to statistics, 90% of divorced moms win custody of their children and 43% of children are currently being raised without fathers.

Divorce Around the World

Image by Business Insider

Fourth on the list is Belarus, a landlocked country in East Europe. In Belarus, the ratio of divorces to marriages is growing as much as 1 is to 2. Citizens blame the dire statistics on the country’s marrying culture and current economic state. With the average marrying age being as young as 24.5 years for women and 26.6 years for men, scholars believe that the societal pressure to get married early leads to poor preparation for family life. Granted that Belarus is a poor country, many young couples enter marriage for practical financial reasons. Around half of these marriages end in divorce, and properties become equally subdivided between the former spouses.

Next up is Aruba, a Dutch Carribean island country 15 miles north of the coast of Venezuela. This destination island is known for its stunning beaches, great weather, and its high divorce rate. In 2001, a law was introduced in Aruba which allows couples to divorce if one of the two parties complain of irreconcilable differences. That resulted in a massive surge of divorce cases in 2002 when couples who were informally separated legalized the dissolution of their union. The divorce rate has steadily increased since making Aruba the third country with the highest cases of divorce.

Another superpower who made it to the list is Russia. Taking the second spot, the ratio of divorce to marriages in Russia is 1 to 1.6. While many Russians think that the young marrying age of Russians is to blame, experts say that the country’s divorce procedure is the number one culprit of the high divorce rate. Travel is cheap in Russia and so is getting a divorce. Liberal family laws in Russia allows for divorce to be quick, easy, and inexpensive. Unlike in the United Kingdom where the average cost of divorce ranges from around 14,000 to 15,000 pounds, divorce in Russia can cost as little as 150 to 300 pounds and can be done with online lawyers. For couples who don’t have children and who have decided to end the marriage on mutual terms, the process of separating can take as fast as a month.

The number one country in the world is the most surprising of all. Known as a popular romantic destination for honeymooners, ironically, Maldives also takes the number one spot in high divorce rates. The average 30-year-old woman in the Maldives has been divorced not once or twice, but three times according to a report by the United Nations. Studies believe that the mixed Muslim and modern culture accounts for the high divorce rate in the Maldives. In a Muslim country where premarital sex is frowned upon, getting married early becomes the norm for teen couples. If things don’t work out, getting a divorce is relatively easy under the common law system. In the Maldives, marriages are easy to come, easy go.

While the pros and cons of high divorce rates around the world are still subject to debate, psychologists pretty much agree that a bad marriage is worse than a good divorce especially when kids are involved. Subjecting children in a hostile home environment impacts a child negatively and can affect their emotional, physical, and mental health as well as their dispositions on future relationships. According to child custody lawyers, a divorce may be difficult for children but could also offer benefits to them vis-à-vis a bad marriage.

Having two separate homes may prove to be a difficult stage to transition to but it also separates them from a toxic, tension-filled environment. Divorced, happy parents also make for better parents. After the transition period is over and the situation has normalized after the divorce process, ex-spouses can learn to become good co-parents. Divorce teaches both the parents and their kids the value of choosing personal happiness, as well as learning to compromise through different issues.

About the author

John Brown

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