Last year, 31.7 thousand marriages were dissolved in Dutch courts, slightly fewer than in 2008, when 32.9 divorces were legally terminated. The decrease appears to be temporary as the number of divorces increased again over the first six months of 2010.
No increase in divorces following the abolition of the fast-track divorce procedure
Abolition of the fast-track divorce procedure on 1 March 2009 and the economic recession have not caused an increase in divorces. In the first half of 2010, the number of divorces pronounced in court was 8 percent higher than one year previously.
Divorces by number of underage children
More children involved
In 2009, nearly six in ten divorcing couples had underage children versus just over half in 1994. Cohabiting couples nowadays tend to postpone marriage until the arrival of their first child. Hence, proportionally, more couples with children divorced in 2009 than in 1994.
In 2009, divorces involved 33.3 thousand children. In 22 percent of cases one child was involved, in 36 percent of cases two or more children. Approximately half of children involved in divorce proceedings were under the age of 10.
Child alimony by number of children
Alimony usually paid for child support
In nearly 60 percent of divorces involving underage children, courts awarded child alimony. In more than one quarter of cases, the monthly alimony amount is 500 euro or more.
If three or more underage children are involved, the alimony amount in nearly half of cases exceeds 500 euro.
Alimony paid to the wife
In one in six divorce cases, the court awards alimony to the wife. In nearly one in three cases in which alimony is paid, the monthly amount involved is less than 400 euro. In more than one quarter of divorce cases, the amount exceeds 1,200 euro.
Alimony paid to the husband is extremely rare and occurred in only 1 percent of cases in 2009.
Arno Sprangers and Nic Steenbrink