Divorce affects 35 thousand children in 2003

28/06/2004 10:00

Dutch courts concluded nearly 32 thousand divorce proceedings in 2003 with a court divorce order. As a result of the increasing number of flash divorces, this is 5 thousand fewer than in 2001. Six out of ten divorces concern couples with under age children.

Children affected by divorce

Children affected by divorce

Under age children

Overall, concluded divorce proceedings affected approximately 35 thousand under age children in 2003. Seven thousand divorcing couples had one child, more than 9 thousand had two children, nearly 3 thousand had three children and in 500 cases there were four or more children.

One in three children whose parents divorced in 2003 were aged between 5 and 9 years. Nearly one third of under age children, 31 percent, are between 10 and 14 years and one in five are younger than 5 years.

Children affected by divorce, by age

Children affected by divorce, by age

Duration of proceedings

There is a correlation between the number of children a divorcing couple has and the length of the divorce proceedings. Roughly speaking, children delay the procedure.

In procedures where no children are involved, nearly 70 percent of divorces were concluded within three months of being registered in court. If the couple has one, two or three children 60 percent are dealt with within three months and for couples with four or more children only 40 percent are concluded within three months.

Nic Steenbrink and Cheng Wang