Til’ Death Do Us Part? The UK’s Divorce Hotspots Revealed 

With new changes to the UK’s divorce system coming into play from April 2022, and various high-profile divorce cases dominating the news cycle, people up and down the UK are taking a long, honest look at their marriages. 

The divorce system has been shaken up with the implementation of ‘no fault divorce,’ a new system where there is no blame assigned to either involved party as the root cause of the divorce. Under the previous system, one of the partners was forced to admit fault in order to facilitate a legal separation, often causing further resentment. As a result, the actual process of divorce has become easier for unhappy spouses. 

To gain an accurate insight into how changes to the legislation and current events have affected the intentions of the public, family solicitors Beecham Peacock have analysed search data around divorce across the UK, revealing the UK’s divorce hotspots, as well as nationwide trends linked to divorce.

Which Areas are Looking to Divorce?

Google’s Keyword Planner tool shows the ‘reach’ of cities around the world, an estimate of how many people are using Google in that specific location. Using the average number of monthly searches for ‘divorce’ in each city, and that city’s overall reach, Beecham Peacock have identified which cities in the UK are most interested in divorce.

Leicester – 72.16 monthly searches per 100,000 people. 

Bradford – 47.88 monthly searches per 100,000 people. 

Hull – 41.18 monthly searches per 100,000 people.

Plymouth – 36.84 monthly searches per 100,000 people. 

Portsmouth – 24.94 monthly searches per 100,000 people.

Birkenhead – 18.47 monthly searches per 100,000 people.

Bristol – 13.85 monthly searches per 100,000 people. 

London – 8.29 monthly searches per 100,000 people.

Manchester – 7.83 monthly searches per 100,000 people. 

Birmingham – 7.60 monthly searches per 100,000 people.

Liverpool – 6.93 monthly searches per 100,000 people.

Leeds – 6.82 monthly searches per 100,000 people. 

Belfast – 6.01 monthly searches per 100,000 people. 

Edinburgh – 5.65 monthly searches per 100,000 people.

Glasgow – 2.75 monthly searches per 100,000 people. 

The data raises some interesting questions – notably, cities with a smaller reach tended to have a greater number of searches for divorce per 100,000 people. Contrastingly, a 2009 study showed that the divorce rate is higher in more urbanised areas. Meanwhile, this data seems to highlight that people in the UK staying in larger cities may be happier in their marriages. 

However, data from the wider nation presents different results. Google Trends shows that Scotland has the highest rate of searches for ‘divorce,’ followed by England, Northern Ireland and Wales. This data, contrasted with the data from Scotland’s two biggest cities, suggests that greater numbers of searches from more rural areas for divorce are affecting national data.

More generally, Google data highlights notable changes in UK-wide searches for divorce. Searches for ‘divorce’ across the nation between May 2021 and May 2022 have seen a 49% increase compared to the year prior. 

Meanwhile, searches for ‘how to get a divorce’ increased by 24% in the three months leading up to May 2021, potentially in response to the high-profile domestic case faced by Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, which started on 11 April. 

There was also a 14% increase in searches for ‘how to file for divorce’ nationwide during the same period, suggesting that the implementation of the new ‘no fault’ divorce laws has motivated unhappy partners to commit to a divorce.

Clearly, the data suggests that growing numbers of people in the UK are becoming prepared to divorce their spouse. However, it will be interesting to observe whether this increased search volume will result in higher numbers of completed divorces in the near future, or whether frustrated spouses are simply confirming their legal position should they wish to divorce later in life. 

Divorce is a hugely difficult time for couples who have been unable to reconcile their differences, but the new changes to the divorce laws are designed to eliminate the ‘blame game’ from the equation, thereby enabling less emotional, less painful separations. 

If you’re certain that you’d like to end your marriage, the specialist team of divorce lawyers at Beecham Peacock are here to provide a steadying presence. With years of experience helping people at this difficult juncture, they’re here to provide advice, guidance and support.

Anabel Cooper

Anabel is a graduate of King’s College London and upon graduating, she set out on a journey to inspire and empower women through her words. Besides working as a digital marketing expert, Anabel is a freelance copywriter.