Media Release by Hon Kevin Andrews MP

Divorce rate still too high despite decrease

Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews has welcomed a new report which shows the Australian divorce rate is on the decline, but says the figure is still too high.

Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show more than 47,600 couples divorced last year, a decrease of 2,279 (4.6 per cent) recorded in 2012.

Mr Andrews said almost half of the divorces granted in 2013 (47.4 per cent) involved children who can be affected by family breakdown.

“Strong, healthy parental relationships give children the best chance of growing up happy and confident,” he said.

“Single parents do an heroic job in difficult circumstances but the reality is, research shows that some children of divorced parents do not perform as well in terms of their education, health and employment outcomes.

“We know that relationship counselling and education can play a pivotal role in helping to keep marriages strong and preventing divorce.

“Counselling can help couples improve their communication and conflict resolution skills. It can enrich marriages and helps reduce family breakdown.

“This is why we are delivering the Stronger Relationships trial, which provides eligible couples with $200 towards the cost of relationship education or counselling.

“Stable families are the cornerstone of a cohesive and functioning society and we need to ensure that our nation’s greatest asset, our children, have the greatest possible opportunities to reach their full potential.”

Go to for more information on the Stronger Relationships trial.