Figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown a large rise in the number of opposite-sex divorces from 2015 to 2016, the biggest year-on-year increase for more than 30 years.
Amongst couples in 2016, there were 106,959 divorces, which represents a rise of 5.8 per cent from 2015.
Meanwhile, amongst same-sex couples, 2016 saw a total of 112 divorces, 78 per cent of which were of female couples but of course the number of same sex marriages is significantly less.
While the total number of divorces amongst opposite-sex couples rose by 5.8 per cent, the relative increase in the in the divorce rate was lower, rising 4.7 per cent against 2015.
Despite this, divorce rates in 2016 were more than 20 per cent lower than in 2003 and 2004 and the total number of divorces was 30 per cent lower.
Nicola Haines of the Vital Statistics Outputs Branch at the ONS, said: “Although the number of divorces of opposite-sex couples in England and Wales increased by 5.8 per cent in 2016 compared with 2015, the number remains 30 per cent lower than the most recent peak in 2003; divorce rates for men and women have seen similar changes.
“This is the second year that divorces among same-sex couples have been possible since the introduction of marriages of same-sex couples in March 2014. Our latest marriage figures show that of the 4,850 marriages formed between same-sex couples in 2014, 56 per cent were female couples.
“In 2016, there were 112 divorces among same-sex couples, with female couples accounting for 78 per cent of these.”