§ Mrs. Gorman
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many petitions for divorce have been filed(a) within one year of marriage and (b) in total in each of the last 10 years; and of those petitions how many relate to marriages where one party has lived in the United Kingdom for less than two years. 
§ Mr. Jonathan Evans
The question concerns a specific operational matter on which the chief executives of the Court Service and the Northern Ireland Court Service are best placed to provide answers on the Lord Chancellor's behalf. I have accordingly asked the chief executives to reply direct.
Letter from M. D. Huebner to Mrs. Teresa Gorman, dated 27 February 1996:The Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, has asked me to reply to your Question about Divorce Petitions.The total number of divorce petitions filed in the last ten years, for England and Wales is as follows:
- 1986: 179,844
- 1987: 182,934
- 1988: 182,804
- 1989: 184,610
- 1990: 191,615
- 1991: 179,103
- 1992: 189,419
- 1993: 184,471
- 1994: 175,510
- 1995: 173,966
Information on the number of petitions tiled within one year of marriage is not available and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. It is also not possible to say how many divorce petitions relate to marriages where one party has lived in the United Kingdom for less than two years.
Letter from H. G. Thompson to Mrs. Teresa Gorman, dated 27 February 1996:481WThe Parliamentary Secretary has asked me to write to you direct with figures extracted, in relation to Northern Ireland. on foot of the Parliamentary Question put down by you on 23 February 1996 and answered by him today.In view of the manner in which the records are kept, it has not been possible to extract all the figures requested. As the figure for 1995 is not yet available, I have covered the 10-year period 1985–94 and the total number of petitions filed for each year within that period are as follows.
Year Number of petitions 1985 2,007 1986 1,652 1987 1,784 1988 2,224 1989 2,407 1990 2,281 1991 2,619 1992 2,615 1993 2,716 1994 2,672 Total 22,987
It is not possible to identify the number of these which related either to marriages of less than one year in duration or to marriages where one party has lived in the United Kingdom for less than two years.I am able to report that the number of Decrees Absolute granted in marriages of less than two years duration was a total of 96 over the same 10-year period.