One in three German marriages will end in divorce, according to statistics released by the Federal Statistics Office on Tuesday. But couples which end up splitting now give their relationships three years longer to work out than twenty years ago, the figures suggest.
Whereas in 1992 divorces happened on average 11.5 years after a couple got hitched, that figure jumped to 14.5 years in 2012.
“That also means that more longer-term marriages are ending in divorce,” said sociologist Harald Rost from the State Institute for Family Research at Bamberg University.
Many women in unhappy marriages wait until their children have left home before applying for divorce – and children are now leaving home later or taking longer to achieve financial independence from their parents.
Fifty-three percent of the 179,100 divorce proceedings in 2012 were initiated by women, 40 percent by men and the remainder by both parties. Over 80 percent of divorcing couples had already spent a year living apart.
Meanwhile, 2,300 marriages ended in divorce less than a year after the ceremony, the figures showed.