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New marriages lower, senior divorces soar

family court

The original Dhivehi article was published on Mihaaru.com website on 16th May 2017.

The following is a loose translation, including the graphical illustrations:

Population wise Maldives is infamous for having a high divorce rate. However, when we look at the latest marriage-divorce statistics the big real picture seem to appear rather different: the figures showed, although, successful marriages were remarkably less, in total there were fewer marriages and more divorces in seniors.

As per statistics senior marriages and men and women who have married more than once were also on the rise as well.

Here are some interesting aspects noted in the marriage-divorce statistics published by Department of Judicial Administration.


It has been said around that two-wives marriage has considerably increased. However, the statistics disagree. For example, when comparing the year 2015 to 2016; there was a 5% decrease in polygyny. As per the statistics, while in 2015 polygynous marriages were 165, in 2016 the figure fell to 157.

Foreigner – Maldivian marriages

Looking at the Foreigner – Maldivian marriage statistics, men who got married to foreign women remained steady at 34 marriages in both 2015 and 2016. Whilst, women who got married to foreign men in 2015 were 23 and last year was 24.

In which age do most women marry?

In 2016, a total of 5488 marriages took place in the whole of the Maldives. That is 2304 marriages in the capital city Malé and 3184 in other parts of the Maldives. Based on the statistic most women got married between the ages 18 to 25; that is a total of 2793 women who got married. Previously from this age group, 3100 women got married.

Among men, the age group most marriages were between 26 and 39 years. From this age group, 2797 men got married last year and 2798 in 2015.

Marriages of women aged over 40; has a 7% increase – from 536 to 571. In the same age group among men, there was a decline in marriages last year compared to 2015 – from 836 to 831.

Few female child marriages

Below 18* years, 5 girls got married in 2016 and 15 girls got married in 2015. On the contrary, there was an increase in marriages among boys in the same age category; 1 marriage in 2015 and 5 marriages in 2016.

Decline in first-time marriages

Looking at both men and women’s figures there was a decrease in first-time marriages from 2015 to 2016.

The statistics in this section were interesting:

In 2015, as per ‘married times’, men who got married for the first time decreased from 52% to 50.5% in 2016; that is from 3026 marriages to 2777 marriages and men who got married for the second or multiple times increased in total.

Looking at women’s figures who got married for the first time, it fell from 52% in 2015 to 49.% in 2016; that is from 2999 to 2716 marriages. Even with women marriages increased in total as well.

This means that people who got married for the second or multiple times increased in comparison to first timers.

Most divorces were in the 26-39 age category

In 2016, in the whole of Maldives, there was a total of 3417 divorce registrations; compared to 2015, this figure is a decrease. In 2016, in Family Court, there was a total of 1341 divorce registrations and in Magistrate Courts there was a total of 2076 divorce registrations. The most divorces were between the ages of 26 to 39.

Moreover, divorces from ages 40 and above showed an increase as well.

In 2016, among all the divorces, divorces followed as per law and valid were 1460, while invalid divorces were 1850.

Following the divorce and dissolution procedures of the Islamic sharia law of marriage with the approval of a judge after an application has been made to the competent court containing particulars as required by the regulations made under the Family Act, there was a 12% increase in divorces in 2016; from 90 to 101 divorces.

Based on the statistics what we see are the severance of ties. Yet, bouncing back from downfall and giving a second attempt for a better future by committing to another marriage. From this many marriages and divorces will give rise to many problems as well. By considering this as an economic issue, measures needed to overcome this are many.

*Where a person who has not completed 18 years of age makes an application to marry, the Registrar of Marriages has the discretion, where that person has attained puberty, to grant approval to the solemnization of that marriage upon having considered the person’s physical well-being, competence to maintain a livelihood, and reasons for contracting the marriage. Source: Maldives Family Act 2004.


Source URL: Mihaaru.com

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