In 2003 almost 5 thousand marriages were dissolved by way of so-called flash annulments, 1 thousand more than in 2002. Flash annulments appear to be a serious alternative for couples who want to get divorced. The increase in flash annulments resulted in a decrease in divorces.
Number of divorces reduced
The number of divorces fell from 37 thousand in 2001 to 32 thousand in 2003. The increase in flash annulments caused the number of marriages dissolved by divorce or flash annulment to remain stable in that period.
Divorces and flash annulments
Sharp increase in partnership contracts
Since flash annulments were introduced the number of registered partnerships has grown significantly. In 2001 over 3 thousand partnerships were registered, in 2003 almost 10 thousand, mainly heterosexual couples. More than half of the registrations are marriages that are converted into partnerships.
Flash annulment: speedy procedure
A flash annulment allows a speedy procedure. Most marriages converted into partnerships are soon followed by dissolution of the partnership. About 60 percent of the conversions were dissolved within a month, 90 percent within six months.
Maarten Alders and Carel Harmsen