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Strengthening Families To Keep Marriages Stable And Divorces Low

Type: Press Releases,

Topic(s): Children & Families, Marriage Journey,


          The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) is committed to building strong families and will continue to help couples strengthen their marriages through pre- and post- marriage support programmes, especially in the first decade of marriage. 

2        The findings by the Department of Statistics (DOS) ‘Statistics of Marriages and Divorce, 2022’ report highlighted that general marriage rates were among the highest in two decades; and marriage dissolution rates before the 10th marriage anniversary had declined among recent cohorts of couples married after 2005.

Increased marriage stability in newer cohorts

3        The marriage dissolution rates before the 10th anniversary fell among the more recent resident marriage cohorts, signifying greater marriage stability among recent cohorts of married couples, as compared to previous cohorts.

4        Based on DOS’ findings, the cumulative proportion of dissolved marriages before the 10th anniversary declined from 17.0% for the 2005 marriage cohort to 14.5% for the 2011 marriage cohort. By marriage type, the proportion of dissolved Muslim marriages before the 10th anniversary declined from 24.8% for the 2005 marriage cohort to 17.6% for the 2011 marriage cohort, and those for civil marriages decreased from 15.3% to 13.8%. 

Highest proportion of dissolved marriages between 5th and before 10th anniversary

5        Support for marriages, particularly in the early years, is crucial. Most dissolutions occurred between the 5th and before the 10th anniversary, followed by before the 5th anniversary of marriage. With each subsequent 5-yearly milestone from the 10th anniversary, the increases in dissolution rates were smaller (refer to Annex A). 

Strengthening marriages in early years provide a stronger foundation for stable marriages 

6        While the increased marriage stability and decline in dissolved marriages are encouraging, the Government will continue with its efforts and work with the community to support couples in navigating their marriage journey, particularly in the early years.

7        This has been done through a comprehensive suite of programmes to support couples through key milestones along their marriage journey. 

a. In the first two years of marriage, there are marriage preparation, mentoring, and support programmes to prepare soon-to-weds and newlyweds for life together as husband and wife. 

b. For couples married for more than two years, there are marriage enrichment programmes to equip them with tools to sustain a healthy marriage. 

c. Parenthood is another significant milestone for married couples as raising a child requires shared responsibility and teamwork. To support couples in their parenthood journey, community partners like Families for Life provides evidence-based parenting programmes to equip parents with the techniques to understand their children and parent more confidently.

d. For couple with marital issues, they can access family counselling at the FAM@FSCs or the FAM@FSC Online Counselling platform.

8       Through evidence-based programmes, accessible counselling services and educational resources, we aim to support couples with the tools they need to build resilient and fulfilling relationships. Married couples can take active steps by joining programmes that are tailored to each stage of their marriage and tapping on the resources that are available. 

9        Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State for Social and Family Development and Home Affairs said: “The institution of marriage provides the foundation for strong families and society as we build a Singapore Made for Families. It is encouraging to see a decline in marital dissolutions for the more recent marriage cohorts. With the support of our partners, social service agencies and community groups, MSF will continue to help strengthen marriages through various programmes and initiatives and encourage our community to step forward as volunteers. I also hope more Singaporeans would embark on marriage and parenthood journeys and experience the joy that comes along.”

10      More details on marriage and parenthood programmes and resources can be found on the Families for Life website at www.familiesforlife.sg

 

Annex A and B - Cumulative Proportion of Dissolved Resident Marriages and List of available marriage preparation, mentoring and support programmes