"Kim and Bill Wedding" by Stephen Graham / CC BY 2.0

Humanist Weddings Are Less Likely to End in Divorce

Mar 12, 2019

By Hemant Mehta

People who had Humanist wedding ceremonies have a lower rate of divorce compared to those who were married in a church. Humanists UK obtained the information from the Scottish government via a Freedom of Information request.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service said that Humanist weddings, which have been legal in Scotland since 2005 and began overtaking religious weddings in 2012, have a pretty good survival rate:

The statistics… reveal that since Humanist ceremonies began couples married in them are:

  • Three times less likely to divorce than Roman Catholic marriages over the same period.
  • More than two times less likely to divorce than Church of Scotland marriages.
  • Almost four times less likely to divorce than civil marriages.

In 2017-18, the last year full figures are available, there were 5,702 humanist marriages in Scotland.

A breakdown of the figures shows that for marriages that have taken place in the past five years humanist weddings had a divorce rate of 1.7 in every 1,000, whereas civil ceremonies were 7.3.

The Church of Scotland divorce rate for marriages less than five years old was 5.8 in 1,000 and for Roman Catholic weddings it was five.

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