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The traditional notion of ‘till death do us part’ is being shunned by many modern-day couples, as one in 20 divorcees (5%) admit to ending their marriage after less than 12 months, according to new research published today from Confused.com

  • One in seven (14%) people admit to being in a relationship with their future spouse for less than a year before getting married
  • More than a fifth of those who have tied the knot (22%) admit to having been married twice or more
  • One in seven (15%) Brits have met a new partner less than 6 months after ending their marriage
  • Average age at which men get married is 29.5 years, while women are typically aged 27.3 years when they tie the knot


The findings from the leading price comparison site reveal that, while the average duration of a marriage before divorce is 14 years, many couples are throwing in the towel after less than a year.

This may be down to the fact that many couples are choosing to walk down the aisle with a partner that they might not actually know that well. One in seven (14%) people admit to having been in a relationship with their future spouse for less than a year before getting married, with only 50% of couples even living together before tying the knot.

These ‘starter marriages’ – first-time marriages that seemingly act as a trial run for lasting, more fulfilling relationships – are becoming something of a celebrity  trend. Kim Kardashian filed for divorce just 72 days after marrying Kris Humphries in 2011.However, their union wasn’t the shortest. An array of other Hollywood celebs have called it quits in less time than Kim Kardashian:


  • Britney Spears was married to childhood friend Jason Alexander for less than 55 hours.
  • Drew Barrymore and Jeremy Thomas married in March 1994. Their marriage lasted 19 days.
  • Cher married Gregg Allman just three days after finalising her divorce from Sonny Bono. Merely 9 days later she filed to dissolve the marriage.
  • Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra got married in November 1998. Nine days later, Rodman filed for annulment.

However, experiencing a short-lived first marriage does not appear to be deterring couples, with more than one in five people who have tied the knot (22%) admitting to being married twice or more. One in seven (15%) divorcees have even entered a relationship with a new partner less than 6 months after ending their marriage.

Exiting a marriage can have financial as well as emotional complications, as couples are left to split assets and funds that they once pooled. According to the research, more than four in ten (41%) newlyweds will buy a house together, with the same number (41%) opening a joint bank account with their new spouse. One in five people (22%) also admit to taking out life insurance upon getting married, as they plan for the future with their new husband or wife.

 Matt Lloyd, Head of Life Insurance at Confused.com comments:

“With many marriages now unfortunately ending in divorce, difficult conversations around finances are going to be unavoidable.  However, people should not assume that because they’ve been divorced, their ex is no longer entitled to a share of any of their assets or funds.

 In the case of life insurance, if you’ve named beneficiaries on your policy and not reviewed or updated it recently the pay-out could go to the wrong person – potentially an ex-spouse – regardless of how long you were married for or how long ago it might have been.

 “It’s always a good idea to review your beneficiaries with major life changes such as marriage or divorce. As your circumstances change, so might your insurance requirements.”

This post was written by Mark Keenan. Editor of the Divorce Online Blog and Managing Director of Online Legal Service Ltd. Mark has been writing about divorce and related subjects for over 20+ years and is an expert in legal marketing.

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