Number of divorces in Belgium 2007-2018

Since 2008, the number of divorces decreased in Belgium. In fact, the country registered 35 thousand divorces in 2008 compared to 23 thousand in 2018. Meanwhile, the number of marriages was mostly stable. In Belgium, there were 45.6 thousand marriages in 2008 compared to 44.3 thousand marriages in 2017. In comparison, neighboring France registered 234 thousand marriages for 90 thousand divorces. Although a divorce rate would be ideal to fathom divorce numbers in Belgium, available data shows that the average duration of marriage in the country was of 15 years in 2018.

Divorce for inconsolable differences

Since 2007, Belgium law defines two ways of divorcing: by mutual consent or on the grounds of inconsolable differences. Divorce on the grounds of a fault has been abolished, it is now unnecessary to prove that a spouse has faulted to obtain a divorce. However, if one of the spouses does not want to divorce, the other spouse will have to prove the existence of these inconsolable differences. For instance, adultery, violence, or effective separation for over a year. In this form of divorce, the other spouse’s consent is, therefore, not mandatory.

Consensual divorce

If both spouses wish to pursue a divorce in Belgium, they must file a request in court. In court, they will have to prove an effective separation longer than 6 months. When spouses agree to divorce but not on the procedure, the court will settle on the modalities of the divorce. The modalities often refer to pension, child custody, and distribution of property. However, when both spouses also agree on the divorce’s modalities, they must consult a lawyer to address how the dividing is being settled. In this scenario, spouses do not need to go to court.

Total number of divorces in Belgium from 2007 to 2018

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Release date

November 2019



Survey time period

2007 to 2018

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Statistics on "Demographics of Belgium"

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