Sat, Jan 15, 2005 - Page 4 News List

Divorce rate reaches all-time high

CNA , TAIPEI

A spokesman for a private organization dedicated to helping broken families announced yesterday that "one out of every 2.09 local married couples divorced last year," which he said was an all-time high in the nation's history.

Liu Ko-ming (劉克明), chief executive of the Taiwan True Love Family Association, quoted statistics compiled by the Ministry of the Interior as indicating that 131,453 couples married last year, while 62,796 couples divorced.

"The figures mean that one out of every 2.09 married couples ended up in divorce or that 172 couples divorced each day last year," Liu claimed.

However, since Liu made no mention of the actual number of married couples in the country during the period, it was unclear as to how he arrived at his figure.

Last year's divorce rate was much higher than the year-earlier level, Liu said.

In 2003, one out of every 2.66 couples divorced for a 37.59 percent divorce rate. Last year, according to Liu, the divorce rate surged to 47.84 percent.

Quoting the ministry's tallies, from 2003, Liu said 54 percent of local divorced men and 17.9 percent of divorced women remarried.

The figures indicate that about 20 percent of couples who married in 2003 were divorcees, Liu said.

Noting that a high divorce rate usually means that the number of reorganized families will increase, Liu claimed that the country has the world's fourth-largest number of reorganized families.

According to Liu, the US ranks first in terms of the number of reorganized families.

Quoting the results of US surveys, only 40 percent of divorcees enjoy successful second marriages, while more than half of second marriages end in divorce.

"The high failure rate indicates that maintaining a second marriage may not be easy, " Liu said.

He said that children from previous marriages can also add difficulties to reorganized families.

With a view to helping divorcees intending to marry again adapt to their new families, Liu said the Taiwan True Love Family Association has decided to open a new service center to provide counseling for members of reorganized families.

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