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Why Women File For Divorce More Than Men

There are an infinite number of reasons why women file for divorce more than men and amongst them, there are some common underlying themes, including the introduction of no-fault divorce laws, for example. We explore just why it is that the statistics show women pressing the button to end their marriages more than men.

  • Women often feel the burden of inequality

According to a 2019 report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, on an average day for adults living with young children, women spent 1.1 hours undertaking physical care, with men contributing 26 minutes.

Although much has been done to address the inequality of women at work, it seems the dial in some households is yet to turn. While more men are helping out with the household slog, it seems there are still some old-fashioned views on who should be responsible for the cooking and cleaning and that domestic expectations haven’t fallen in line with a more balanced workplace.

This can render some women working full time, looking after children more and taking on all domestic duties, and in some cases, husbands also do not support their career ambitions. Inevitably, many women simply do not want this and if their views do not align with their spouse’s they may want to call time on their marriage.

  • Women are often less forgiving of unacceptable behaviour 

Changes in society have also encouraged women to be less tolerant of unacceptable behaviour from their spouses. Traditionally, women were more financially dependent on their husbands and often stayed with their spouse when there was abuse, many also believed in more conventional male and female roles both of which kept some women who may otherwise choose to divorce locked in their marriage. Today, women are less likely to stay in an abusive relationship with more resources and facilities available to support them if they need to leave their marriage.

  • Women realise the prospect of improved well-being 

Some women considering divorce realise that their quality of life will be much better if they left their relationship, and this can be the impetus for many to file for divorce. Interestingly, a report by Mintel reveals that 61% of women say they are happy being single in comparison to 49% of men.

Although circumstances can be difficult for women in the beginning, especially financially, they see the long-term goal of improved well-being and are willing to go through a split and wait for an improved quality of life rather than remain in an unhappy relationship.

  • No-fault divorce laws  

In April 2022, new no fault divorce laws were brought into force in England and Wales. The main idea behind the changes within the laws was to make the divorce process simpler for all parties. Changes in inaccessible and outdated terminology have been removed and there is now no obligation to cite exact grounds for divorce. Previously, divorce applicants had to state one of five grounds, including desertion, adultery, two-year separation, five-year separation or unreasonable behaviour. Having to state one of these grounds often represented a further source of conflict for divorcing couples. Without having to do this, some women may now feel more liberated to initiate a divorce knowing that conflict can be kept to a minimum. This can be especially beneficial for women trapped in domestic abuse relationships.


As women’s role in society changes, new expectations from women come to the fore and the no-fault divorce laws take effect, it’s reasonable to assume that more women could indeed continue to be the main initiators of divorce in the future.