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Does a Valentines wedding mean divorce?

View profile for Graeme Barclay
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Couples looking for a romantic day on which to wed would naturally choose Valentines Day; a day to celebrate love.  A recent study has shown however that choosing ‘gimmicky’ dates are more likely to lead to divorce.  Graeme Barclay, Family Lawyer, here explains the theory behind the research, and what you need to do if you are considering a divorce.

Divorce research

The study, conducted by the University of Melbourne, followed 1 million couples from 1995 to 2013 and during this time Valentines Day was the ninth most popular day to get married.  Of those couples who did decide to marry on Valentines Day, 11% of them were divorced by their fifth anniversary and 21% by their ninth anniversary.  Only 8% of couples who marry on ‘normal’ dates were divorced by their fifth anniversary, and 16% by their ninth.

“Valentines Day is not the only date that can raise the likelihood of divorce,” Graeme explains.  “Other dates such as same number dates, for example 09/09/2009, also bring the same fate, with 10% divorced after five years and 19% after nine years.”

Valentines Divorce

The research shows however that it’s not the date itself, but what that signifies about the couple.  “Those couples who choose to marry on a special date are more likely to have differences between them in their relationship, and are more focussed on the wedding day than the marriage,” continues Graeme.  “Those who marry on ordinary dates tend to be more settled in their relationship and their compatibility.  People who have children or have been married before, both also identified as common factors in couples who divorce, also tend to choose dates such as Valentines Day.”

Of course, there are many reasons why a couple may divorce, no matter what date they wed.  “This research does slightly trivialise the issue of divorce as unfortunately it can happen to any couple,” explains Graeme.  There are many reasons why a couple may reach this conclusion; adultery and unreasonable behaviour can both be given as reasons to proceed with a divorce less than two years since separation, or if a couple has simply grown apart, continuous separation can be the reason.  A couple must be separated for two years where both agree to a divorce, or if one party disagrees then the separation must be for five years as no consent is required.   

“Proceeding with a divorce will be an emotional decision to make, as no couple gets married with the view that one day they will divorce, no matter what date they wed,” concludes Graeme.  “However, when it does happen, a couple must be sure that they seek appropriate legal advice, particularly if there are children or complicated financial arrangements to consider.  Here at Warner Goodman, the Family team have many years of experience offering friendly, empathetic and pragmatic advice to couples who need a guiding hand through the process, and offer a range of different packages to suit your financial and emotional requirements.”

If you would like to find out more about the process of divorce, you can contact Graeme or the Family team on 02380 717431, visit their section of the website here or email


This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice.  All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.