This article by Clarissa Bye, quoting Tiyce & Lawyers Principal Michael Tiyce, appeared in the West Australian on October 20, 2018:
Australians are getting married later than ever, are more likely to “try before they buy” by living together before tying the knot — and divorce rates have plummeted as a result.
In fact, the fall in divorces has resulted in rates not seen since before no-fault divorce laws were introduced in the mid-1970s.
Marriage has been increasingly taken up by a younger generation who have watched their parents struggle to cope as single parents, social researchers say.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the divorce rate is 1.9 per 1000 people — close to the figure of 1.8 recorded in 1975, the last year of the old divorce laws.
Before the Family Law Act reforms, a divorce was more difficult to get and warring couples were forced to “prove” adultery by methods such as hiring detectives to gather evidence for court cases.
Social researcher Mark McCrindle said marriage was growing in popularity.
There are on average 326 marriages every day across the nation. October is the most popular month, followed by November.
“In the last couple of years, we have seen the marriage rate rise from 4.8 per thousand in 2015 to 4.9,” Mr McCrindle said.
“What it’s telling us is that marriage is still very much in vogue, a key part of our society.”
In the late 1970s, after the law changes, woman in their late 20s had a 31.5 per cent chance of being a divorcee compared with 14 per cent today. By 1996, there were 52,466 divorces a year at a rate of 2.9 per 1000 people.
Despite the increase in population since, the number of divorces has fallen to 46,604.
“That truism that half of all marriages led to divorce is not the case,” Mr McCrindle said.
“In fact, if you compare the numbers of marriages to divorces, it’s closer to one in three.”
Tiyce and Lawyers divorce lawyer Michael Tiyce said the two peak ages for divorce were mid-20s and late 40s.
“Quite a few people think it’s important to stay together for the sake of the children, so the 25 to 29year age group is probably before kids and the 45 to 49-year group is when kids are grown up,” he said.
A bride’s average age is now almost 30, while for grooms it is 32. Most couples live together before tying the knot — 80 per cent compared with 16 per cent 40 years ago.