The number of marriages terminated by way of a flash annulment amounted to 5 thousand in 2004, a small increase compared to 2003. In previous years the increase in the number of flash annulments pronounced was stronger ranging from fewer than 1 thousand in 2001 to 4.1 thousand in 2002 and 4.8 thousand in 2003. Children were involved in more than half of cases in 2004.
Number of marriage dissolutions stable
The total number of divorces fell from 37 thousand in 2001 to 32 thousand in 2004. The total number of marriages dissolved remained fairly stable in recent years due to the increase in flash annulments. Flash annulments present a serious alternative for the formal, lengthy and complex divorce procedure.
Divorces and flash annulments
Number of partnerships on the increase
The flash annulment procedure was introduced on 1 April 2001. Since then the number of registered partnerships increased rapidly from 3 thousand in 2001 to more than 11 thousand in 2004. Heterosexual partnerships in particular increased considerably.
Partnership registrations, 1998-2004
Accelerated procedure makes flash annulment attractive
Approximately half of partnership registrations concern marriages being converted to partnerships. A flash annulment is an accelerated procedure. Approximately 60 percent is being dissolved within a month, about 75 percent after three months and 90 percent after twelve months.
Divorcing women by number of children living at home, 2004*
Flash annulments and children
The flash annulment procedure is also open to couples with children. In 2004 over half of women involved in flash annulment procedures had children living at home. The rate for women involved in a normal divorce procedure was over seven in ten. Flash annulment couples are slightly more often childless than divorcing couples. Nevertheless, more than 4.5 thousand children living at home had parents involved in flash annulment procedures.
Mila van Huis