Top 10 reasons for divorce in 2021 - most common causes of divorce UK

10 Top reasons for divorce in 2021

Originally published on 28th September 2018 at 10:20 AM

Reading time: 2 mins

The blog/latest statistics, using 2019 data, from the Office for National Statistics (2021) show that unreasonable behaviour (one of the grounds you can use to divorce in England and Wales) is still the most common reason for divorce used by couples. 35% of all husbands and 49% of all wives used unreasonable behaviour to divorce in 2019, but what were the top 10 reasons for divorce?

Top 10 Divorce Reasons Used Most Commonly

  1. Falling out of love (no drama – just drifted apart)
  2. Values have changed over time and we no longer agree on important things
  3. Lack of support emotionally through life’s changes
  4. Disrespectful/demeaning behaviour
  5. Lack of sex and emotional connection
  6. Unbalanced roles especially housework and looking after children
  7. Fallouts with family members
  8. Arguing over money
  9. Stressful working hours/feeling second in line to the other person’s career
  10. Having an affair

What are former ‘grounds for divorce’?

Prior to the introduction of No-fault divorce in England and Wales on the 6th of April 2022, there were five facts for divorce, often referred to as the grounds for divorce. If you wanted to get divorced in England and Wales, prior to the introduction of no-fault divorce, you needed to choose one of the five facts to demonstrate that your marriage had broken down ‘irretrievably’ – this is the grounds for divorce. The five ‘facts’ were:

The main reason for divorce:

Prior to the implementation of no-fault divorce, unreasonable behaviour was the most prominent reason for divorce. With approximately 42% of all married couples in England and Wales divorcing, if you haven’t been separated for at least two years, or one of you hasn’t been unfaithful, you must then use unreasonable behaviour as your fact to support that your marriage has broken down irretrievably.



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Hannah Hodgkinson
Hannah Hodgkinson
Hannah Hodgkinson is Head of Marketing at amicable. Hannah has over six years experience working for global NGOs and private consultancies and has a passion for marketing for companies with a social purpose

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Comments (1)

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Family Law

30.11.2019 11:58

This is a great blog post. It’s so true – there are so many things that go into making a marriage work. Your article is great – and really hits on the foundation and building blocks of a relationship. I really enjoyed reading this post!