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10% of NC marriages end in divorce


More people prefer to marry at Department of Home Affairs

Photo: AP

AN ESTIMATED 10 percent of marriages end in divorce in the Northern Cape – and in most cases it’s the wife initiating proceedings.

A recent report by Stats SA showed that in 2015 there were 4 107 marriages in the Province. In the same year, there were 589 divorces.

More people in the Province get married at the offices of the Department of Home Affairs (a total of 1 908) than in religious ceremonies (1 166). A total of 1 313 were unspecified.

While the majority of the newly-weds in the Province were either bachelors (3 360) or spinsters (3 602), divorced men were more likely to get remarried (374) than divorced women (132). Just over 100 (101) of the grooms tying the knot were widowers, while only 30 women were widows.

Women were also more likely to end the marriage, with 54.2 percent of divorces in the Province being initiated by women, while only 35.2 percent were initiated by men.

The key findings of the report on marriages and divorces for 2015, according to Statistician-General Pali Lehohla, show that nationally there were a total of 138 627 civil marriages, 3 467 customary marriages and 1 185 civil unions registered in 2015.

A comparison with the 2014 data shows that registration of civil marriages dropped by 8.1 percent but that of customary marriages and civil unions increased by 13.2 percent and 3.6 percent respectively.

The median age of first-time civil marriage bridegrooms increased by a year from 33 years in 2014 to 34 years in 2015, while the median age for brides has remained unchanged at 30 years.

In 2015, 25 260 completed divorce forms were processed, indicating an increase of 2.3 percent from the 24 689 processed in 2014.

Nationally there were also more female than male plaintiffs.

The median ages at divorce in 2015 were 44 years for men and 40 years for women.

About 45.4 percent of the 2015 divorces came from marriages that did not reach their tenth wedding anniversary.

In 2015, there were 14 045 (55.6 percent) divorces with children aged less than 18 years affected.