In 2002 38 thousand marriages in the Netherlands were annulled through divorce or a "flash" annulment. This is the same number as in peak year 2001. Four thousand marriages were annulled by way of a flash annulment in 2002, 3 thousand more than in 2001. The number of divorces fell from 37 thousand in 2001 to 34 thousand in 2002.
Flash annulments per quarter
Converting a marriage into a partnership
A flash annulment is an alternative for couples who want to get divorced. This possibility has existed since 1 April 2001. This procedure for annulling a marriage is simple. First the marriage is changed into a registered partnership. This partnership is subsequently annulled by a solicitor or notary, at least if both partners agree to the annulment.
Divorce and flash annulments
Strong increase in the number of partnerships
The number of partnerships has increased strongly since April 2001. In 2002 more than 8 thousand partnerships were registered, 5 thousand more than in 2001. In the first months of 2003, too, the number of registered partnerships has increased.
Sixty percent of the partnership registrations in 2002 were conversions from an existing marriage to a partnership. Without such conversions, the number of registered partnerships would be 3.5 thousand.
Partnership registrations per quarter
ost marriages that are converted to partnerships are annulled soon afterwards. More than half of the conversions are annulled within a month, more than three-quarters within three months, and 90 percent within a year.
Maarten Alders and Liesbeth Steenhof