Armed Forces: Divorce

Defence written question – answered on 27th March 2007.

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Photo of Mark Pritchard Mark Pritchard Conservative, The Wrekin

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armed forces personnel were granted a divorce in (a) 2005 and (b) 2006 who (i) have since left the armed forces and (ii) are still serving.

Photo of Derek Twigg Derek Twigg Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (Veterans)

The following tables provide the number of Army and RAF personnel divorcing in 2005 and 2006, broken down by divorcees who have subsequently left the armed forces and those still serving. Naval service data are not available as the Naval service groups 'Separated', 'Divorced' and 'Widowed' together.

Figures are for UK regular forces, and therefore exclude Gurkhas, full-time reserve service personnel, the Home Service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment and mobilised reservists. Figures are for trained and untrained personnel excluding officer designates.

The term 'divorce' includes 'decree absolute' and 'marriage annulled'. It excludes 'decree nisi' and individuals who are separated.

Army
2005 2006
Number of divorces 1,040 900
Divorcees still serving as at 1 January 2007 890 870
Divorcees subsequently leaving the armed forces 160 40
RAF
2005 2006
Number of divorces 570 n/a
Divorcees still serving as at 1 January 2007 480 n/a
Divorcees subsequently leaving the armed forces 90 n/a
Notes:

'n/a' denotes not available. Due to the introduction of a new personnel administration system, RAF data are not available.

Due to the rounding methods used, totals may not always equal the sum of the parts. When rounding to the nearest 10, numbers ending in five have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.

In compiling this data a small error has been discovered in the RAF data given in my reply of 19 February 2007, Hansard, column 202W, to Mr. Harper for which I apologise.

The error does not substantially alter the estimates of divorce rates in the RAF.

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