Divorce rate up in Berlin

The number of marriages ending in divorce rose in 2019, reversing the trend. For the first time, same-sex couples were included in the statistics.

Helen in accounting always knew it would never work out.
Helen in accounting always knew it would never work out.Photo: imago images/Panthermedia

Berlin-More Berliners are divorcing, the Berlin Brandenburg Office of Statistics has reported. In 2019, 2,898 marriages were terminated in Berlin courts, a 10 per cent rise over 2018. The number of divorces had fallen each year since 2016.

In eight per cent of cases, both partners filed for divorce; 39 of the marriages lasted for just one year. Berliners appeared to shun the seven-year itch: couples divorced most often in the sixth year of marriage. 

Forty-five per cent of the divorcing couples had underage children.  A total of 4,147 kids were affected, 325 more than in 2018. In 13 Berlin families, five or more children were affected by the separation of their parents.

Divorces of same-sex couples were counted for the first time, according to the report, but only seven same-sex couples divorced in 2019.

New marriages continue to far outnumber divorces: last year 14,602 Berlin couples tied the knot. 

Berlin by no means tops Germany's divorce charts. The city of Leverkusen holds that distinction with 445 couples divorcing there in 2019 with only 602 marriages. 

Getting divorced in Germany is more complicated than in many countries. Couples must prove they have lived separately for one year and the legal costs involved are exorbitant. 

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