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Divorces in Germany

Fewer Divorces in Germany: 2023 Sees Lowest Numbers Since Reunification

Berlin, June 27, 2024, The Europe Today: In a notable trend, the number of divorces in Germany has hit a record low since the reunification in 1990, as reported by Germany’s Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) on Thursday. This aligns with a longer-term trend that has seen a gradual decline in the number of weddings.

Significant Decline in Divorces

In 2023, approximately 129,000 marriages were dissolved by court order, marking a significant decrease of 8,300, or 6.1%, compared to the previous year. This downward trend has been ongoing since 2003, with a cumulative decline of 39.7%, save for a few exceptions.

Destatis highlighted that the coronavirus pandemic did not impact this trend. In contrast, the number of marriages has also been declining, reaching the second-lowest level since 1950.

Impact on Families

The data revealed that just over half of the couples who divorced in 2023 had children who were not yet adults. Specifically, 48.8% of these couples had one child, 39.7% had two, and 11.5% had three or more children. Consequently, around 109,600 minors were affected by their parents’ divorces last year.

Divorce Petitions and Separation Periods

In 2023, 89.6% of divorces were filed with the consent of the spouse. Joint petitions accounted for 6.2% of cases, while in 4.2% of divorces, one spouse did not consent. The majority of divorces (80%) occurred after a separation period of one year, while divorces following a three-year separation period accounted for 18.9%.

Duration of Marriages

On average, couples who divorced in 2023 had been married for 14 years and nine months. Interestingly, 17% of all divorces occurred in the year of the couples’ silver wedding anniversary or later, indicating that some long-term marriages eventually ended in separation.

These statistics reflect significant shifts in marital trends in Germany, with fewer couples opting for marriage and even fewer choosing to dissolve their marriages.