Are Australian couples doing better at staying together? The answer is that we don’t really know.
The number of divorces in Australia is falling, but we know that the marriage rate is also falling, so it follows that the raw numbers of divorces would also fall. This does not tell us very much about the rate at which couples are separating or staying together, when you take into account that there are many couples who do not formalise their relationship by marriage, but may not define their relationship as de facto.
It is believed that approximately 20% of domestic partnerships are de facto relationships rather than formal marriages. This statistic may not be reliable, because there are many people who do not describe themselves as being in a de facto relationship, but who would be seen that way in the eyes of the law.