50% British marriages headed for divorce

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London, Mar 28 (UNI) One in two newly married British couples will end up getting divorced, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the divorce rate has risen from 37 per cent 20 years ago to 45 per cent.

However, the risk of divorce decreased after a decade of marriage, with fewer than 31 per cent of marriages breaking up after 10 years, and only 15 per cent after 20 years.

The figures were published by the ONS a day after it announced that marriage rates had fallen to their lowest level since records began, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Statisticians believe 45 per cent marriages will end in divorce before a couple's 50th anniversary if 2005 rates continue, with almost half of these splits occurring before couples reach 10 years of marriage.

Those who have been divorced before have higher proportions of broken marriages. Couples who marry younger also have higher proportions of divorce, the trend revealed.

Dan Boucher, of the social policy charity Care, said, ''If the Government recognised marriage in the tax system, this would help uphold the relationship that research demonstrates is in the best interests of the well-being of both children and adults.'' UNI XC SKB PM0915

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