In 2012 separations were 88,288 and divorces 51,319; compared to the previous year a decrease is observed (-0.6% and -4.6%, respectively).
Total separation and divorce rates, constantly growing since 1995, show a setback in 2012: there were 311 separations and 174 divorces every 1,000 marriages, respectively.
The average duration of marriages at the time of separation/divorce proceedings being filed is 16 years for separations and 19 years for divorces.
More recent marriages have a shorter duration. Comparing weddings celebrated in 1985 with those of 2005, unions arrived to a separation after seven years are doubled, passing from 4.5% to 9.3%.
Religious marriages are more stable. In 2012, 933 religious weddings vs. 880 civil weddings every 1,000 marriages survived to the “seven-year crisis”.
The average age at separation is around 47 for husbands and 44 for wives; for divorce it rises to 49 and 46, respectively. These figures are on the increase due to both the postponement of marriage to more mature ages and to the increase in separations with at least one spouse aged over sixty.
The type of proceeding mainly chosen by couples is the consensual separation: in 2012, 85.4% of separations and 77.4% of divorces ended by mutual consent.
73.3% of separations and 66.2% of divorces involved couples with children born during the marriage. 89.9% of separation agreements provided for joint custody, which has become far more common a procedure since the introduction in 2006 of Law 54/2006.
20.3% of separation agreements provided for spousal maintenance payments (in 98.4% of cases payable by the husband). This share was higher in the South and the Islands (25% and 24%, respectively).
In 58.2% of separations, the matrimonial home was assigned to the wife while only in 20.9% to husbands. 18.8% of separation agreements provided for two different and separate houses, other than the matrimonial one.