Divorce Attorney Cape Town

Latest Divorce Statistics South Africa


divorce statistics

Statistics South Africa published the latest divorce statistics on 15 December 2014 based on 21 998 completed divorce forms that StatsSA had received and processed by the end of September 2012. The number indicates an increase of approximately 5% from the 20 980 cases processed in 2011.

Population Groups

Couples from the white population group dominated the number of divorces from 2002 to 2007; thereafter, the black African couples had the highest number of divorces up until 2012. In 2002, 45,2% of the divorcees were from the white population group whereas 22,5% came from the black African population group. By 2012, 33,2% of the divorcees were from the black African population group and 32,9% from the white population group. The proportions of the divorcees from the coloured and the Indian/Asian population groups were quite invariable during the eleven-year period. However, there was a notable increase in the proportions of divorcees from the coloured population group (from 16,6% in 2011 to 18,0% in 2012) which may have affected the results.

Sex

The 2012 data presented show that more wives 11 033 (50,2%) than husbands 7 335 (33,3%) initiated the divorce. The sex of the plaintiff was not specified in 3 630 (16,5%) of divorces. With the exception of women from the black African population who had a lower proportion of plaintiffs (40,7%), the proportion of women plaintiffs from the other population groups was above 50,0%. White population group 57,3%, coloured population group 54,7% and Indian/Asian population group 54,3% were women. However, it should also be noted that the black African population group had a much higher proportion of divorces with unspecified sex of the plaintiff (22,1%).

Occupation

A high proportion of the plaintiffs (12,7% of the men and 19,4% of the women) did not indicate the type of occupation they were engaged in at the time of divorce. In addition, 27,4% and 30,3% of the men and women respectively were not economically active at the time of divorce.

Most plaintiffs were in clerical and sales occupations (11,1%); managers and administrators (10,4%) and 8,4% in professional, semi-professional and technical occupations. Some differences were observed regarding the type of occupation of men and women. The men who initiated the divorce were largely managers and administrators (14,5%) while the women were mainly in clerical and sales occupations (17,3%).

Number of times married

Most divorce cases for both men and women were mainly from individuals who had married once. About 80,0% of divorces for men and women were from first-time marriages compared to about 10,0% from second-time marriages. Around 2,0% of men and women were getting divorced for at least the third time.

Age at time of divorce

The median ages at divorce were 42 years for men and 38 years for women, indicating that generally, men were older than women, with a difference of about four years. The pattern of median ages in 2012 by population group shows that black African men and men from the white population group had the highest median age of 42 years at the time of divorce while women from the Indian/Asian population group had the lowest median age (36 years). The difference in the median ages at the time of divorce for men and women was higher among the black African population groups (four years) than among the other population groups.

The data reveal that there were fewer divorces among the young (less than 25 years old) and the old (65 years and older) divorcees. For men, the peak age group at divorce was 30 to 34 for Indian/Asian population group while the peak for the black African, white and coloured population groups was 40 to 44. In the case of women, the peak age group was generally at age group 35 to 39 except for the Indian/Asians population group which peaked at 30 to 34.

Duration of marriages

The largest number [6 129 (27,9%)] of the divorces were for marriages that lasted between five and nine years. This group is followed by marriages that lasted less than five years [4 637 (21,1%)]. Thus, almost half (48,9%) of the 21 998 divorces in 2012 were marriages that lasted for less than 10 years. According to results given, irrespective of the population group, the highest proportion of divorces occurred to couples who had married for five to nine years. Thus 33,3% of divorces from the black African; 27,2% from the coloured and 26,6% from the white population groups were marriages that lasted between five and ten years. For the white population an equally high proportion (25,5%) of divorces occurred in the first five years. Furthermore, for all population groups, after nine years of marriage, the proportion of divorces declined as the duration of marriage increased.

Divorces involving children

In 2012, 12 083 (54,9%) of the 21 998 divorces had children younger than 18 years. Apart from the mixed population group, the coloured and the white population groups had the highest (64,4%) and the lowest (48,0%) percentages respectively. The distribution of the number of children affected by divorce shows that 35,5% were from the black African population group; 28,2% from the white population group and 22,0% from the coloured population group. There were 19 713 children affected by divorce indicating that, on average, there was one child per divorce.

South Africa’s premier website on Divorce and Separation Divorcelaws.co.za revealed through Google Analytics that more than 150 000 people in South Africa visited the website in 2014. It is interesting to note that 89% visitors were from Gauteng, followed by 30% from the Western Cape, 11% from KwaZulu-Natal, 3% from the Eastern Cape, 1.47% from the Free State, 1.11% from North West, 1.31% from Limpopo, 0.67% from Mpumalanga and 0.25% from the Northern Cape.

Compiled by:

Bertus Preller – Family Law Attorney

Bertus Preller & Associates Inc. Cape Town

021 422 2461

Twitter: @bertuspreller

Website: www.divorceattorney.co.za

Source: http://voices.news24.com/bertus-preller/2015/01/latest-divorce-statistics-increase-divorces-women-sue-divorce/

Divorce Season


Divorce season is nearly upon us

More divorces are filed in January and February than in any of the other months of the year. Being stranded in a bad marriage during the holiday season many spouses find themselves moving into the New Year determined to never spend another Christmas in their marriages. This is sad, but unfortunately a reality of the world we live in. Unfortunately in many instances, divorce doesn’t end suffering, it actually doubles suffering.

In practical terms, the big “D” means one house becomes two houses with all the expense it takes of running both. In other words the income that it took to maintain one home will now have to somehow cover the expense of maintaining two households.

One can argue that divorce is basically trading one set of problems for another, unless you educate yourself and navigate the process in such a way that it cuts down the expense and is fair to all involved.

Divorces in January annually dramatically escalate, this is often because of spouses being compelled to spend time together on holiday and during this period they scrutinise and evaluate their relationship and come to the conclusion that they are completely incompatible.

Couples who marry at a young age are most likely to divorce. Among 25 to 29 year-olds, the rate is more than twice as high as people in older age groups.

Finances also cause domestic arguments and put a strain on any relationship, potentially resulting in divorce. However, having said that many couples looking to divorce are being forced to stay together under the same roof due to the lack of movement in the housing market and because some simply can’t afford to go through divorce proceedings.

A typical marriage these days in the UK will last for 10 years. By contrast, a cohabiting relationship is likely to last only two or three years before the couple either marry or break up.

South African Statistics on Divorce

In 2010, 170 826 civil marriages of South African citizens and permanent residents were registered. This number includes 3 830 (2,2%) marriages of South African citizens and permanent residents that were  solemnised outside  the  borders  of  South  Africa  but  subsequently  registered  in South  Africa.

In 2010, data on 22 936 divorces from civil marriages were processed, indicating a drop-off  7  827  or  25,4%  from  the  30  763  cases  processed in  2009. The distribution of couples divorcing by population group shows  that the  highest  proportion  of  divorces  between  2001  and  2007  came  from the  white  population  group followed by the black African population group. In 2001, 43,2% of the divorcees were from the white population group whereas 23,1% came from the African black group. However, from 2008 to 2010, the pattern changed. The black African population exhibited the highest proportion of divorces followed by the white population group. Thus 35,6% of the 2010 divorcees came from the African black population group and 30,5% from the white group. The proportions of the coloured and the Indian/Asian groups were quite variable during the ten year period.

In 2010 there were more female 11 309 (49,3%) than male 7 999 (34,9%) initiating divorce. The population group was unspecified in 15,8% of divorces. With the exception of females from the black African  population  group  who had  a  lower  proportion  of  plaintiffs  compared  to  males,  the  proportion  of female plaintiffs from the other population groups was above 50,0%. For example, 39,5% of black African plaintiffs were females compared to 57,6% female white plaintiffs.

In 2010 divorce cases for both males and females were mainly from people who had married once. About 80,0% of divorces for males and females were from first marriages compared to approximately 10,0% from second time marriages. About 2,0% of males and females were getting divorced for at least the third time.

The median age at divorce in 2010 was 41 years for males and 38 years for females. The median age for males was  down  from  42  years  in  2009  but that  of  females  remained  unchanged.  This indicates that males generally divorced at older ages than females, with a difference of about three years in 2010. The pattern of median age by population group and sex in 2010 was basically the same as that observed in 2009 where black African  males  had the  highest  median  age  (44  years)  at  the  time  of  divorce  and  females from  the  Indian/Asian group had the lowest median age (35 years) at the time of divorce. Furthermore, the 2010 data for black African women (38 years) show a drop of one year from 39 years in 2009 whereas the ages for white males and females had increased by one year from 41 and 38 years to 42 and 39 years respectively.

Although  there  are  differences  in  the  ages  at  which  most  males  and females  from  the various  population  groups  divorced,  the  age  patterns are  quite  similar.  The data reveal  that  there  were  fewer divorces among the young (less than 25 years old) and the old (55 years and older). For male divorcees, the peak age group at divorce was 35–39 for each of the population groups with the exception of the black Africans which peaked at 40–44. In the case of females, the peak age group was 35–39 for each of the population groups except the Indian/Asian group that peaked at 30-34 and the mixed group that did not show and particular pattern

2010 indicate that the largest number 5 989 (27,3%) of the divorces lasted between five and nine years. This group is followed by marriages that lasted less than five years 4 577 (20,9%). Thus, almost half (47,7%) of the 22 936 divorces in 2010 were marriages that lasted less than 10 years.

In  2010,  12  486  (54,4%)  of  the  22  936  divorces  had  children  younger than  18  years. The proportions of divorces with children were quite high among the coloured population group (64,9%), black Africans(58,0%) and the Indians/Asians (55,4%). The distribution of the number of children affected by divorce shows that 37,9% were from the black African population group; 27,6% from the white population group and 17,3% from the coloured population group. Overall, there were 20 383 children (younger than 18 years old) involved in divorce indicating that, on the average, there was between one and two children per divorce.

Statistics courtesy of Stats SA

About the Author

Bertus Preller is a Divorce Attorney in Cape Town and has more than 20 years experience in most sectors of the law and 13 years as a practicing attorney. He specializes in Family law and Divorce Law at Abrahams and Gross Attorneys Inc. in Cape Town. Bertus is also the Family Law expert on Health24.com and on the expert panel of Law24.com and is frequently quoted on Family Law issues in newspapers such as the Sunday Times and Business Times and magazines such as Noseweek, You and Huisgenoot, and also appeared on SABC television on the 3 Talk TV show. His clients include artists, celebrities, sports people and high networth individuals. His areas of expertise are Divorce Law, Family Law, Divorce Mediation, Parenting Plans, Parental Responsibilities and Rights, Custody (care and contact) of children, same sex marriages, unmarried fathers rights, domestic violence matters, international divorce law, digital rights, media law and criminal law.

Tel: 021 422 1323

Email: bertus(@)divorceattorney.co.za

Divorce Statistics in South Africa


The South African Divorce Rate

Marriages in South Africa

In 2008, 186 522 marriages were registered in South Africa. This number includes 959 marriages of South African citizens solemnised outside the borders of South Africa but were registered in South Africa. Information from the Department of Statistics show that the number of registered marriages has generally been increasing over the last ten years (1999–2008). In 1999, 140 458 marriages were registered. This number had increased to 186 522 in 2008 showing an annual increase of 2,9% since 1999. The 2008 186 522 shows an increase of 3 492 (1,9%) from 183 030 marriages recorded in 2007.

Age at the time of marriage

In 2008, marriages of 930 men and 6 774 women aged less than 21 years were registered. Women enter marriage for the first time at younger ages than men. In 2008, the median age for grooms was 34 years compared to 29 years for brides. Major differences however, are observed when the marital status at the time of current marriage is considered. For first time marriages, the median age for bachelors was 32 years and that of spinsters was 29 years giving a difference of three years. The age at first marriage for both men and women has remained the same as 2006. For remarriages, the median age of divorce men was 52 years compared to 46 years for their female counterparts yielding an age gap of six years. Similarly, the median ages for widowers and widows were 45 years and 29 years respectively resulting in a 16 years’ gap. Despite the fact that men tend to marry younger women, in 2008 14,6% of bridegroom were younger than their brides whilst 7,1% were of the same age.

Divorces

Trends in divorces (1999-2008)

The published data on divorces indicate that the number of granted cases has been fluctuating between 37 098 and 28 924 per annum in the past decade (1999-2008). The distribution of couples divorcing by population group shows that there were more divorces among the African population group compared to the other groups. Despite the general fluctuations, the proportions of divorces from the mixed and the African groups have been increasing whilst that of the White group has been declining in the past ten years. In 1999 the African, Indian/Asian, White and mixed groups made up 18,4%; 5,3%; 39,9% and 1,0% of the number of divorces respectively. However, in 2008 the contribution of the African, Indian/Asian and mixed groups increased to 35,0%; 6,2% and 3,1% respectively whilst that of the White group declined to 32,8%.

Who is suing who?

The 2008 data reveal that there were more female (50,6%) than male (37,8%) plaintiffs. However, there were significant differences among population groups. Among African plaintiffs, more husbands (43,5%) than wives (41,1%) initiated the divorce. This is in sharp contrast to the other population groups, particularly among the White (58,0%) and the Coloured (57,9%) whereby most divorces were initiated by women.

Even though a high proportion of the plaintiffs did not indicate the type of occupation they were engaged in at the time of divorce, the highest percentage of wives (19,8%) were in clerical and sales occupations whereas husbands (14,9%) were in managerial and administrative occupations. Very few plaintiffs were in farming and related occupations.

Number of times married

The 2008 divorce cases were mainly from first marriages. The pattern of remarriages among husbands was quite similar to that of the wives. Slightly fewer (76,4%) husbands were from first marriages compared to 77,1% of wives. Approximately 9,0% were second time divorcees for both husbands and wives. About 2,0% of husbands and wives were getting divorced for at least the third time.

Age at the time of divorce

The median age at divorce in 2008 was 41 for men and 38 for women. African men had the highest median age (43) at divorce. Women from the mixed and India/Asian group had the lowest median age (36 years).

Duration of marriage of those divorcing

The median duration of marriage in 2008 was 9 years. The largest number of divorces (7 859 or 27,2%) lasted five to nine years. This group is followed by marriages that lasted less than five years (6 143 or 21,2%). Thus, almost half (48,4%) of the 28 924 divorces in 2008 were from marriages that lasted less than 10 years. As the duration of marriages increased the number of divorces decreased. Irrespective of the population group of the divorcees, the distribution of divorces continues to be skewed towards earlier years of marriage.

Divorces involving couples with children

In 2008, there were 26 947 children (younger than 18 years old) involved in divorce. It is observed that 16 370 (56,6%) of the 28 924 divorces had children younger than 18 years indicating that, on the average, there was between one and two children per divorce.

Source: http://www.edivorce.co.za

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