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Divorce Rate by Country: The 10 Leading Countries With the Highest Divorce Rates

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Getting divorced is never easy. When you tie the knot, you get into the union hoping it’ll last a lifetime.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Challenges like financial difficulties, domestic abuse, addiction, substance abuse, lack of commitment, and other reasons often lead to divorce.

Some countries, however, experience divorce more frequently than others. However, this doesn’t mean that if you’re in these countries your marriage won’t thrive. Strong and fulfilling marriages do exist in these countries, regardless of the trends or statistics.

We’ve curated a list of 10 countries with the top divorce rates in the world and why divorce might be so common there.

If you’re going through a divorce or considering it, the award-winning divorce attorneys at Petrelli Previtera, LLC can help. We’ll hold your hand and see you through the entire process.

1. Maldives

Rate: 5.5 per 1000

This beautiful island nation has been a divorce hotspot for a long time. In 2002, it was in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the highest divorce rate at 10.97 divorces per 1000 people.

There are a few reasons why the divorce rate is so high. First, the divorce process here is easy and affordable. Not to mention, increased access to education and opportunities has led to greater financial independence for many Maldivian women. This has enabled them to sustain themselves without the need for men in their lives.

Furthermore, societal attitudes towards divorce have become more accepting, with less stigma attached to the process.

2. Kazakhstan

Rate: 4.6 per 1000

While divorce isn’t as common in Kazakhstan as it is in the Maldives, it’s still more frequent than in many other countries.

A Kazakh Institute for Equal Rights and Opportunities study blamed the following reasons for the high divorce rates:

  • Interference by relatives (61%)
  • Lack of moral restrictions (41%)
  • An easy divorce process (25%)
  • Changing attitudes toward marriage
  • Persisting gender Roles

Interestingly, despite the higher divorce rate, the Kazakhs still value the institution of marriage. Research shows that 82.5% of young Kazakhs (18-29) visualize their futures as married with children.

3. Guam

Rate: 4.3 per 1000

Guam is a small island in the Pacific Ocean and a US territory with an estimated population of 169,330.

Despite its size, the island has the third world’s highest divorce rates due to several reasons.

The island’s residency requirements before divorce aren’t as strict. While contested divorces require a 90-day residency (physical presence), uncontested divorces only require you to reside in Guam for a week before filing.

Additionally, Guam’s divorce laws are favorable and the divorce process is pretty straightforward.

4. Russia

Rate: 3.9 per 1000

Russia is a massive country with a population of over 144 million, so it’s not shocking that divorces are that common.

The most common reasons are alcoholism, financial problems, a lack of mutual understanding between spouses, and infidelity. The economic problems caused by the fall of the Soviet Union continue to strain marriages to date.

Moreover, Russia’s no-fault divorce laws allow couples to divorce without providing a reason or proving fault. Additionally, you can file for divorce even if you aren’t legally separated.

5. Moldova

Rate: 3.8 per 1000

While this Eastern European country is relatively small, it has a high divorce rate. Here, 12% of Moldovian girls are married before the age of 18, potentially leading to marriages involving immature partners unprepared for the commitment.

Moldova has the lowest GDP in Europe, which creates money problems, leading couples to divorce. Additionally, Moldova’s “macho” culture encourages men to have multiple sexual partners. This makes infidelity and domestic violence rampant.

However, traditional views on matrimony and divorce are also changing, especially as women gain independence.

6. Belarus

Rate: 3.7 per 1000

With a population of 9.2 million, a divorce rate of 3.7 can be alarming.

In Belarus, light drinking of vodka is part of the culture, which can lead to alcoholism and abuse. Also, challenges such as unemployment, poverty, domestic violence, and lack of housing from urbanization strain marriages.

Additionally, divorce laws in Belarus are simple. For instance, consensual divorce can be approved within 1-2 months, provided there aren’t minor children involved or property disputes.

And with little stigma against divorce in modern Belarus, couples divorce frequently.

7. The People’s Republic of China

Rate: 3.2 per 1000

China is the world’s second-largest economy with a massive population of over 1.4 billion. The country’s high divorce rates can be attributed to:

  • Couples often live in different cities for work
  • Modern views on relationships are replacing traditional values
  • Women have become more educated and financially independent
  • Stress and pressure from the one-child policy and older generations
  • Divorce is becoming more socially accepted

While its divorce rate might seem lower than previous countries, the big population means there are still lots of couples splitting up each year.

8. The Republic of Aruba

Rate: 2.9 per 1000

Aruba is an island in the Caribbean that is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, known for its beautiful beaches and vacation vibes.

Over the decades, Aruba has witnessed changing marital patterns. Now, the percentage of divorced individuals has increased, while the number of never-married individuals have decreased. Education, or the lack thereof, has played a key role. Research shows that most divorced people (both men and women) only had basic education.

In some cases, the law can reduce the duration of separation before divorce to one year from three years.

9. Lithuania

Rate: 2.8 per 1000

This European country has experienced major political and economic changes since independence from the Soviet Union. This instability led to financial problems, and alcoholism, increasing the likelihood of divorces.

Additionally, high unemployment and disability-related activities increase the chances of divorce, especially in rural areas.

Lithuania’s laws make it easy to get divorced. While the process of Fault-Based Divorce  can take up to three years, consensual divorce can be processed in three months. Not to mention there’s little stigma surrounding divorce in modern Lithuania. 

10. Dominican Republic

Rate: 2.7 per 1000

It’s alarming that in the Dominican Republic, 9% of girls are forced into marriage by age 15, and a staggering 31% before age 18. This creates a generation of spouses that get married too soon without maturing, increasing the chances of divorce.

Also, the machismo culture in this Caribbean nation encourages men to have affairs, driving women to divorce.

Not to mention poverty, unemployment, violence, and family problems are common, causing stress and divorce. Additionally, certain divorce laws, such as divorce by mutual consent and divorce for incompatibility can make the divorce process a bit easier.

What About the Divorce Rate in the United States?

Recent numbers indicate that the U.S. has a divorce rate of 2.5 per 1000. While this rate is lower than the other countries on this list, millions of families still go through this challenging process. For instance, 2021 alone saw an astounding 689,308 divorces.

So, what drives divorces in the U.S.?

According to a recent study, a lack of commitment, infidelity, and too much conflict are the leading causes.

Additionally, changing societal values, beliefs, and norms, and individual independence compared to past generations may also be contributing factors.

Let the Experts Handle Your Divorce

As you can see, there are various reasons for the high divorce rates in these countries. One thing is common though; divorce is always a difficult and unpleasant experience.

If you’re facing divorce, let Petrelli Previtera, LLC handle it for you so you can focus on healing. Our knowledgeable and highly compassionate divorce attorneys will advise you on legal strategies and options to make this process less stressful.

Schedule a consultation today and we’ll discuss how our assistance can help you move forward in the healthiest way possible.


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