Some 30 thousand Dutch couples separated by using the flash divorce procedure in the period 2001-2009. The highest numbers of flash divorces were recorded in the years from 2003 to 2005, when around 5 thousand couples annually separated using this procedure. The number of flash divorces was lowest in 2001, when the procedure was introduced, and in 2009, when it was rescinded.
Increase in flash divorces compensated by decrease in divorces
Between 1 April 2001 and 1 March 2009, it was possible for married couples in the Netherlands to convert their marriage into a registered partnership. This partnership could then be annulled without having to go to court. For some couples, this so-called flash divorce was a serious alternative to divorce. The increase in the number of flash divorces almost completely compensated the decrease in the number of divorces in recent years.
Divorces and flash divorces
Parents of more than 2.5 thousand children used flash procedure
More than half of women who ended their marriage through a flash divorce procedure in 2008 had one or more children still living at home. The parents of just over 2.5 thousand children separated through a flash divorce procedure in 2008. Fewer flash divorcees than regular divorcees had children at home: 53 versus 72 percent.
Divorcing women by type of divorce and number of children living at home, 2008
Suzanne Loozen and Mila van Huis