My thoughts on the recent divorce statistics in Singapore

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According to the latest marriage and divorce statistics from Singstat, the number of couples getting married decreased, while those getting divorced went up. The number of marriages in 2016 was 1,649 lower than those in 2015.

One of the main reasons for this is the drop in the number of civil marriages, despite the increase in muslim marriages. While the number of marriages has been relatively stable and consistent, the concern here is the number of divorces that has been increasing year after year since 2013.

This isn’t just for civil marriages, it extends to muslim marriages as well. In civil marriages, the wife initiated the divorce 62.4% of the time while for muslim divorces, the wife filed for divorce in 7 out of 10 cases (70%).

Common reasons for divorce in civil marriages were unreasonable behavior, and separation.

Unreasonable behavior is vague and can mean a variety of reasons. But from previous years, infidelity was a top factor in divorce cases in Singapore. For muslim marriages, the top reason was infidelity or extramarital affairs. The second highest reason was desertion, followed by financial problems.

What does this mean? I asked a few friends and we all agreed that it means people are marrying the wrong partners. First off, we are not marriage experts, and while some of us are married, we are seeing a ‘trend’ where people are getting married for the sake of showing off to their friends and families.

I read various articles online that in other developed nations, the underlying reason why the divorce rate is so high (up to 50% in the US), is because a lot of people want a wedding, rather than marriage. There is a heavy emphasis on the wedding and some people look forward to that their entire lives. They have everything about the wedding planned out, whereas the marriage itself takes a back seat.

Surveys have also consistently found that there is a certain theoretical ‘limit’ that should be spent on weddings, after which the divorce rate starts to increase. This i think is because people who have found true love, and really want to get married, do not mind spending lesser on the wedding, because they put more emphasis on other big expenses during marriage, such as a house, car and children.

So it could be that people are getting married just for the sake of a grand wedding to show off to everyone, which means they are unprepared for the reality of life after marriage. Being married is not easy. You are tied to someone the rest of your life, and your choices are dependent on their thoughts and opinions and vice versa.

As for the reasons for divorce (infidelity), it is not something we can tell right away. You might think you know your partner, but they may surprise you. I’m not trying to scare potential husbands and wives, but just be sure that you know the person really well and trust them fully. No relationship can last without trust. Do not rush into getting married because there are irresistable wedding packages, or due to pressure from friends and families. It might be demoralizing seeing so many of your friends getting married, but it is even harder living with someone you no don’t love or trust. Young couples, think carefully and ask yourself the real reason why you want to get married. Is it so you can get that BTO ? If your reason for marriage is tied to something other than the marriage, then seriously reconsider.

People need ensure they marry the right person. It’s not about being ‘trendy’ or having lavish weddings. Trends will phase out and that grand wedding lasts only a day. Your marriage and commitment lasts a lifetime. Don’t forget that divorce isn’t easy either. For men, it might take a huge financial toll on them, and they risk losing their assets. For women, having custody of the children and raising them on your own is no easy feat either.

LawyerSearch – Divorce Lawyers in Singapore

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